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house92 04-23-2010 05:35 AM

Deck is bad after 6 years.
I had a treated deck built 6 years ago, and the floor is already decaying. The wood is very dry and brittle and can be pushed through when some force is applied. I have applied sealer stain/water sealer twice over the 6 years. My question is, "What in the world could have happened?" Everyone else's deck lasts for years and years. Could it have just been bad lumber. What are some tips in selecting lumber when I replace it?

Cork-Guy 04-23-2010 03:12 PM

Don't you have a warranty on your deck? I can't imagine all your lumber being bad and having this happen over the whole deck. Was the bottom of it sealed or only the top? Perhaps you have termites? Post up a picture so we can get a better idea of what's going on.

Bud Cline 04-23-2010 05:34 PM

"Treated" meaning what?
What type of lumber was used?
"Sealed" with what? Topical or penetrating?
Exposure is in what direction, N,S,E,W?

house92 04-24-2010 07:42 AM


Originally Posted by Bud Cline (Post 44024)
"Treated" meaning what?
What type of lumber was used?
"Sealed" with what? Topical or penetrating?
Exposure is in what direction, N,S,E,W?

The lumber has been treated with a chemical that helps withstand weathering;
around here, everybody calls it "treated lumber." The lumber usually has a greenish appearance when new due to the treatment. The lumber was pine decking lumber, which is what everyone around here uses. I painted it with a stain/sealer combination that I bought at Lowe's. I can't remember the name, but it was a leading name. It suggested applying every three years. I believe it penetrated; it was thin like varnish, and for some time after the application, the water would bead up when it rained. The deck is on the back of the house, which faces north.

Bud Cline 04-24-2010 02:33 PM

OK, the green is likely CCA treated. Treated lumber comes treated in a couple of different ways. Typically what is sold at home centers these days is .40 penetration. This is nothing more than a gimmick to reduce the cost and make the sale a good buy. If you look closely at a cut-end of .40 treated lumber you will note that the center of the piece is still untreated and natural in color. Right there is the problem assuming you have that type of wood. Facing north is the next issue. No sun exposure, or not enough anyway.

Moisture gets into the untreated portion of the wood and get get out or dry because of the northern exposure. Sealing the wood only adds to the dilemma.

That's my guess.

Next time buy a better grade of treated lumber and try not sealing it and see what happens.:)

house92 04-24-2010 05:37 PM

I wonder what the cost of replacing with a concrete porch would be? It's 12 by 17 and around 3 feet deep. Considering I would need a foundation, concrete blocks, brick to cover the sides, gravel to fill the porch, and then, more cement, probably a fortune.

wseand 04-28-2010 03:08 AM

I would put your money into composite decking. It is a quite a bit more expensive but will last a very long time.

frozenstar 05-04-2010 09:14 PM

A picture can help. But as for your description, it looks really bad. :( Hope you can post some pictures for us to give a much better advice on that one.

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