Some people may think that the maintenance costs of timber decking are all unavoidable, but such people may not know that those maintenance costs can be directly linked to some mistakes or omissions during the installation of that timber deck. This article discusses some tips that you can implement in order to incur lower timber-deck maintenance costs later on.
Stagger the Nails
Avoid placing the nails in the deck joist in a single line. Instead, stagger those nails so that you can see two lines of nails running along the joist. The two lines of nails will be less likely to form a split within the timber. This is because the stresses of expansion and contraction as seasons change will be distributed over a larger area instead of being concentrated along a single line of nails.
Avoid the Edges of Boards
Another tip that will help your timber decking to be free from defects for a longer time is staying clear of board edges when you are driving nails into the wood. Nails create lines of weakness that can enlarge and cause splits over time. Those splits can easily develop if the lines of weakness are close to the edge of the timber board. Nails that are driven further away from board edges are less likely to develop splits.
Do not drive the timber posts of your wooden deck into the ground. Instead, use stirrups, such as concrete bases, to form a barrier between the ground and the timber posts. The stirrups will form a barrier that termites will not easily move over to reach the timber deck above. This termite barrier is useful even if the deck timber was treated against termites. The stirrups will also protect the timber posts from the damaging effects of moisture from the ground.
Use Decking Oil
Avoid painting your timber deck if possible. Paint flakes and peels over time. This can compel you to repaint the deck almost on a yearly basis. Instead of paint, use decking oil to finish the surface of your timber deck. Such a deck will be easier to maintain because the oil does not flake or peel. You can also perform spot repairs without having to refinish the entire deck.
As you can see, many measures are available to reduce the long-term cost of owning a timber deck. Implement the tips above and you will incur fewer maintenance costs for your timber deck.