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Pressure treated deck


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  • Pressure treated deck

    I am in the process of designing a deck for my house in the spring. It will be a somewhat complicated design, aka expensive. I would love to use cedar deck boards, but as they are more than twice the cost of pressure treated so that is an unlikely option. As a landscaper by trade, I have seen many beautiful decks made of cedar, teak and composite products. I have also seen too many decks that I am sure looked stunning when the homeowner wrote the check to the carpenter, but now are a thoroughly depressing shade of gray with boards so warped, checked and splintered, with nails sticking up so tall they could snag a gliding bird flying by, that they more closely resemble an ancient torture device, rather than a deck...the dreaded pressure treated deck. I would very much like to avoid this happening at my house. Thus my question....can I build a deck with pressure treated deck boards that does not look like a monster attached to my house in 5 years? What is the optimal maintenance schedule and routine to keep the boards structurally sound and aesthetically inviting?

  • #2
    It's going to depend on what kind of environment the deck is subjested to, full, long, hot summers or short shady summers ?
    Best advice is to avoid big box store's lumber it's usually very wet, or let it dry out before installation.
    As for maintenance, yearly cleaning and a yearly sealing/protective treatments.
    Little about a lot and a lot about a little.
    Every day is a learning day.


    • #3

      my son built a deck with a material called Ipe
      It is an engineered product.
      Look into it.


      • #4
        Pressure treated decks can look awesome years down the road. The problem is, many people think that once they're installed, they don't have to do anything else to them! Once I build a pressure treated deck, I leave it sit for a few months and then either stain/seal it or paint it with an approved paint for decks. A lot of your PT wood will be wet/green and need some time to dry out.

        Pressure washing and the elements do a lot of harm to your deck, so make sure you do a yearly maintenance on it.

        I also wouldn't use nail. Do yourself a favor and use deck screws!


        • #5
          How to maintain a pressure treated wood deck

          Am glad you know that even pressure treated deck is bound to deteriorate with time if not well taken care of. Regular care and cleaning your deck is important. Sweep often, remove stains immediately and don’t allow leaves and debris to accumulate in between the boards. Avoid bleach alone when cleaning the deck because it tends to spoil most finishes. Just find a good deck cleaner and use it according to the manufacturer’s directions. The deck may require pressure washing if it is very dirty. Most importantly, never seal the deck if it’s dirty and never apply a finish if the deck is not completely dry.


          • #6
            What about using trex deck... I have pressure treated decks on the front and back of my house... Once they need to be replaced I am going trex


            • #7
              Hi, group, am a new member. I joined this morning because I am trying to find information on KDAT problems. We are in the South Carolina lowcountry and are building a deck for a client here using #1 KDAT the-most-expensive-lumber-you-can-purchase material. We were hired by a general contractor to put in the KDAT. First issue was that the 5/4 deck boards ranged in width from 5-1/8" to 5-3/4", so the sections that we divided the 70 foot by 24 foot deck didn't visually "line up". We butted them as tightly as possible and used the recommended stainless deck screws. We then got three days of torrential downpour last week. The homeowner is quite upset, as he woke up after the third day of solid rain to find that the 5/4 boards had buckled, some had pulled completely out of the screws and several ends were curved up like bananas. We took a few boards out and are amazed at how much the wood swelled. We took a 5/4 board out in one section, and the resulting space left was like four inches. The lumber company admitted to our supplier, when they were called, that they "were having a lot of trouble with their KDAT", and the supplier has offered to come pick up the first load of lumber and bring us a new one. Why would a new batch of the same stuff be any different? The homeowner is ready to fire all of us. What would you guys do? Is it fair to think that the lumber company should pay for our labor for all this if they admitted to problems?


              • #8
                I looked into the site that advertises KDAT and their lifetime limited warranty. The warranty applied ONLY to KDAT columns, not the planking. KDAT means Kiln Dried After Treatment. Supposed to bring the whole batch back to normal moisture level after treatment. KDAT is called YELLA-PINE.
                I checked with my son, he's a civil engineer. He installed a deck at his house using Ipe. Ipe IS the most expensive hardwood. It's a natural grown hardwood from Brazil that is naturally oily and harder than hickory. This decking also uses clips to hold it down to the subfloor joists. My son told me that he dulled six drill bits, drilling pilot holes in his whole project for "face fastening." So, take a look at the site under warranties, then go back to your supplier with information in hand.


                • #9
                  Yes, we have used much IPE in the past and are very familiar with it and the clipping system and pre-drilling and so on. The G however specified KDAT material in this particular instance, as they are going to stain everything to match the siding on the home. I have requested the warranty information from the mfg for the KDAT they sell. Is "Yella-Pine" not is a brand name? Or is it another name for KDAT treated lumber? Thanks for your help.


                  • #10
                    Did you test the moisture level of the lumber ? Test a piece of unused material (hopefully you have a piece that wasn't rained on), the moist level shouldn't be above 19%.
                    IPE is the best wood product, though I have to admit we are about 95% composite users now when we build decks.
                    Little about a lot and a lot about a little.
                    Every day is a learning day.


                    • #11
                      Yes, it is possible to build a pressure-treated deck that maintains its structural integrity and aesthetic appeal for many years with proper maintenance. Here are some tips to help you achieve this:
                      1. Quality Materials: Start with high-quality pressure-treated lumber. Look for boards that are kiln-dried after treatment (KDAT) to minimize warping and twisting.
                      2. Proper Installation: Ensure the deck is built using proper construction techniques, including adequate support, spacing between boards, and ventilation to prevent moisture buildup.
                      3. Sealing and Staining: Apply a high-quality wood sealer or stain to the deck shortly after installation to protect it from moisture, UV rays, and other environmental factors. Reapply the sealer or stain every 1-3 years, or as needed, to maintain protection and appearance.
                      4. Regular Cleaning: Keep the deck clean by sweeping away debris regularly and washing it with a mild detergent and water at least once a year. Avoid using pressure washers at high pressure, as this can damage the wood fibers.
                      5. Inspect and Repair: Regularly inspect the deck for signs of damage, such as splintering, cracking, or loose boards. Repair any issues promptly to prevent further damage and maintain safety.
                      6. Preventive Measures: Consider using protective measures such as deck mats or rugs in high-traffic areas to minimize wear and tear. Trim nearby trees or bushes to prevent debris buildup and promote airflow.

                      By following these maintenance practices, you can extend the lifespan of your pressure-treated deck and keep it looking great for years to come. While cedar and composite decking may offer certain advantages, a well-maintained pressure-treated deck can still provide a durable and attractive outdoor space at a more affordable cost.