As seasons change, the weather swings we experience across Australia can take a toll on your timber deck. Whether you’re preparing to build a deck or working to keep it in good condition, you can act now to make your timber last longer no matter what storms may come.
If You’re Building a Timber Deck
When you consider adding a timber deck to your home, it can be easy to focus on the aesthetics without thinking about the long-term durability of the structure. The greatest danger for timber is water damage. Water plus heat equals even faster damage! Without proper protection, your timber can start degrading in as little as 8-10 years.
The joists and bearers used to build your deck are exposed to moisture through the screw holes and in the gaps between the boards. Water gets into these spaces and sits on the timber, causing it to rot and the screws to rust. A simple solution is to seal the joists and bearers with deck protection tape. This tape creates a moisture barrier between timber and galvanized metal, protecting the deck foundation from rot.
Trex Protect’s butyl tape is easy to use and convenient to apply. Available in two widths – 50 mm x 20 m for joists and 100 mm x 20 m for bearers —Trex Protect is applied as a cap (vs. wrapping) to horizontal and vertical surfaces, allowing the timber to breathe. It comes with a 20-year warranty that guarantees you will get the life out of your deck. The small cost is well worth adding years to your new deck.
If You Have an Existing Timber Deck
For an existing timber deck, maintenance is key. Follow these three important steps to protect and preserve your timber:
- Keep it clean. Make sure you regularly sweep off the surfaces and remove any debris. Clearing your deck is important because wet leaves and trash can trap water.
- Do regular inspections. It’s important with each change of seasons to inspect your timber deck, especially the bearers and joists for any rot or damage. If you find holes or damage, repair them right away. The sooner you address rot, the sooner you can avoid more costly repairs.
- Seal the timber. If your deck boards are timber, rather than composite, be sure to seal them with a high-quality finish that enhances the colour of the timber. Make sure to apply any finish with the grain of the timber. This video offers some tips on coatingyour timber.
A new season brings new opportunities. Be sure to make your timber deck ready for all that will come!