Everyone loves a deck. You see your friend has one and everyone has so much fun on it, you may have one built as well. Decks are great because they are a floor outside. You can enjoy your yard without getting your shoes dirty and have a surface you won’t trip on. It’s great for dinner parties and lunches. For birthdays and just watching the sun go down. Your deck is your home away from home and keeping it in good condition will ensure it lasts the test of time.
Decks age naturally, rot is not needed. Decks will dry out and turn gray, the planks can warp and the wood can bend when stepped on creating a feeling of bouncing. Old decks have dangers, when the planks warp and shrink they also reveal the nails used to hold them down. These raised nails are a tetanus shot in waiting and can severely harm anyone not wearing strong shoes. If your deck is new and you want to prevent this dramatic and rapid aging as well as preventing rot then there is some work you will have to do.
If you already have an assembled deck that is damaged by sun or rot then you will have to replace and repair the damaged pieces. If the rot goes so deep that the deck is a write off it will have to be torn down and disposed of. However, if you are willing to go the distance then you can both reverse and prevent wood rot in your deck.
Wood is a living thing. It does not die when you cut it continues to act like a thing that is alive. So when you assemble the deck you must take precautions. The deck responds to hot and cold, wet and dry and it can be damaged by the extremes. Snow and ice, rain, and sleet will harm the deck and while it struggles to dry out after a storm the bacteria that naturally live on the wood has a chance to eat it. This is the cause of wood rot. Bacteria you cannot see that life on your deck but cannot eat the wood because it is firm and dry. The wood must first become wet for it to be accessible by these bacteria. To prevent this the wood must be treated. Now the first thing most people think when someone says treated wood is pressure treated. This is a big mistake. Pressure-treated wood contains dangerous chemicals that are safe while locked into the wood but as the wood ages and decays the chemicals are released into the environment. This is a major issue and can poison the groundwater. For this reason, all pressure-treated wood needs to be disposed of in a concrete buffered disposal site. This is a landfill with a concrete floor that separates the garbage from the groundwater. For this reason, making a deck out of it is a very bad idea.
To get rid of wood rot you will need to chip away the damaged wood with a chisel and a hammer and then use a special spray called wood hardener. This will harden the wood and make it stronger. You can then fill the hole with wood filler. The wood filler sticks to the wood very well and can be used to fill some very big holes. Preventing wood rot must be done early in the life of the deck. The best time to do it is when you are building the deck. Treat the wood with a very high-quality UV-resistant coating that prevents moisture from getting into the wood. This can be done on all sides of every plank, support and two by four the deck is built with. You can then assemble them, and your deck will be protected from light and rot on all sides.