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Need some advice with deck repair

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by heat seeker, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    My deck has gotten really weathered, so I'm looking to replace the boards with Trex or a Trex clone. It looks pretty straightforward, but I see one problem (so far). It appears that part of the original deck was enclosed to make a porch, which means the porch wall covers some of the boards. I can't figure out how to cut the exterior boards flush with the wall so that I can butt the Trex up to it. (See photo).
    Anyone have any ideas on how to proceed? IMG_3551.JPG

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  2. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    :)

    This is how Dad would have done it. Sad . . . but very true.

    Attached Files:

  3. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Rent a toe kick saw...cut as flush to the wall as you can...but up trex...cover seam with trim.
    fishingpol likes this.
  4. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    If those deck boards are 3/4", the threshhold may become an issue, unless there is a gap under the threshhold to accomodate composite decking which is usually 1". We are only talking a 1/4" here though, and the t-hold may have some give to it.
  5. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    I see quarter-round (the duct tape of wood trim) in your future.
  6. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    How is that supported from down below?
  7. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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  8. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    Looks like the siding that abuts the deck needs some help.
  9. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    If the decking is solid, I would consider pressure washing/sanding and re-finishing.
  10. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Some great suggestions!

    Smokey, in the photo you can see the ends of the boards are staggered. There are joists that run left to right, at 16" spacing.

    Quarter round is a good idea. I'll have to see if it's available in Trex-ish.

    I suppose I could stop the cuts at the threshold, and let there be the small height difference. Actually, the deck boards are 1 5/8" X 5 ½",so replacement "lumber" should be the same - ?

    I like the toe kick saw, also the harbor freight tool, but I wonder if it would do the job. A chain saw has its appeal, but I dunno - it would be too much fun.

    Fox, the wood is pretty well weathered, and needs some serious sanding. I am looking ahead, I can't be doing this in the next few years. I'd like to make it maintenance free as much as I can.
  11. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    It does, although it's not as bad as it looks. Whoever built this place (and he was a builder) cut a lot of corners. There is no pressure treated wood on the whole place either, since they had horses and were concerned about it. You should see the barn…(shudder).
  12. johnsgunworks

    johnsgunworks Member

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    I might use a reciprocating saw held at a slight angle as to undercut the wall. The oscillating tool would also work, just a little slower.
  13. johnsgunworks

    johnsgunworks Member

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    I like to stagger the boards in a more random pattern. It tends to be more asthetically pleasing.
    PapaDave likes this.
  14. Eatonpcat

    Eatonpcat Minister of Fire

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    I think I would take out a few boards (as many as needed) with the methods suggested above, then try to get under the remaining boards with a sawzall blade, cut the nails and pull out the boards.

    No pressure treated wood?? Not even the deck posts? Never seen a horse try to eat a deck!:cool:
    Defiant likes this.
  15. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    I would be concerned with the flooring being rotten under the enclosed porch.
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  16. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Have a look at your existing joist spacing and make sure it will work with Trex. Your spacing may be too wide for composites since they originally used 2x s.

    There are some interesting coatings out there for old deck boards. You may want to check those out.
  17. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    Semipro has a great point....we put trex diagonally on joists 16" on center and it was kinda bouncy.!!!
  18. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    heat seeker,

    Whatever you do, do not cut into a joist. And if there is no joist in the way you should insert a doubled up one (and perhaps an actual beam on posts) to pick up the unsupported decking under the porch wall and to anchor the end of the replacement decking. Looks like a bit of jack work is called for

    If it matches height wise I'd use some nice PT 5/4 SYP deck boards. Be certain to check the framing for rot since no PT was used.

    I just finished replacing a small back porch (with a larger deck all PT and all ground contact wood used was ground contact rated PT) where the only PT was the 6 x 6 posts and a 2 x 4 used to hold the step frame bottom together against the ground, There was rot on the decking under side, three of the joists, all of the four step stringers and all four of the step treads. The porch was 6 years old.

    There can be a tremendous amount of unseen rot and a hell of a load on parts of that deck frame given how the porch and deck are built.
    Eatonpcat likes this.
  19. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    If you can reuse the joists you may want to "flash" them with tar paper (roofing felt) or self-adhesive flashing before installing the new deck boards.
  20. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Does that mean covering the top surfaces? I'm not familiar with "flash" for joists.
  21. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

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    Pretty sure semi was referring to the practice of flashing the tops of the joists prior to installing decking, usually with a low cost material to improve water shedding & prolong the life of framing members. Pretty common practice by old timers that had pride in their craft & wanted their work to out live them. Works amazingly well too, just a heads up for you DIYers on the board, use heavy roofing felt not tar paper. You can shape the heavy roofing felt to fit the joist tightly prior to installing (hence the use of the term flashing). BTW the heavy roofing felt will outlast the wood deck....about 25 years or so up here & most wood unprotected outside is done.
  22. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Actually if you are using PT the flashing should be metal, the recommended stuff is a backed copper flashing, with a coated aluminum flashing being second. What gets flashed is the beam joist joint area. The ledger boards should also be sealed against the house as well as being flashed. All ends of beams and joists should be treated with a preservative containing copper. The flashing covers all such joints

    After looking at many deck failures the common fault was found to be where a deck attaches to the building due to rot caused by lack of sealing and flashing allowing water to work into and along the fasteners that go into none PT wood leading to rot and pull out.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That deck doesn't look in bad shape. The paint looks weathered but not the boards. Are you finding rotten boards?
  24. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the flashing info, guys!

    The boards are not really rotten, but really weathered and starting to crack. I pressure washed them a couple of days ago. They are weathered with deep grooves, so sanding them smooth would be quite a task! My concern is for future maintenance, or lack thereof. I'm trying to make my remaining years (many, I hope) easier. There's a lot of maintenance required around here, and I'm trying to reduce what I can.

    This is one of the supports. At least they are sitiing on the concrete. No visible rot.

    IMG_3555.JPG


    Underside of deck. The green stuff is not as bad as it looks, the flash accentuated it.


    IMG_3554.JPG
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    They look to be in good condition. I'd sand them and paint them with a good deck paint.

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