Top 5 Tips for Longer-Lasting Vinyl Decks
Building Decks that Stand the Test of Time
The ideal vinyl deck would last forever, wouldn’t it? But you also have to balance against cost. So how can you get a longer-lasting vinyl deck?
Tip #1: Start at the Base
A solid foundation is the first step towards building a solid deck. Even though the ground might look solid, areas that receive significant moisture or cold during the year, you could see movement in your base, unless you dig down at least five feet to create your base.
Tip #2: Cover Joists
It can look interesting to have your joists stick out from the edge of the deck, but you’re also creating a place where raw wood can absorb water. For a truly waterproof deck, protect your joists. If that’s not part of your design, ensure that your wood is sealed.
Tip #3: Good Wood
Choosing high-quality wood makes a huge difference in the lifespan of a new vinyl deck. Red cedar is a popular choice, and is naturally resistant to pests. However, pressure treated wood is also a good choice.
Tip #4: Hardware
Building a solid, long-lasting deck is nothing is you don’t use the right hardware to keep it together. Double-hot-dipped galvanized nails are good, stainless steel is better, and screws are best of all. Don’t scrimp – hardware is what pulls your deck together, literally.
Tip #5: Decent Slope
Slope is the key to a waterproof deck. It keeps water from pooling on the deck, and from finding a way under the deck surface or into the house envelope. Following guidelines on deck building in your region will ensure a proper slope that clears water from the deck or patio so it can’t create problems.
Tip #6: Waterproof Vinyl Membrane
Water can damage virtually any surface, given time. It can scour wood, penetrate, and begin to work its way into cracks and crevices. Covering a deck surface with a vinyl membrane can significantly increase the longevity of a deck or patio, as it prevents water from gaining access to the underlying surface and supporting joists and beams.
Tip #7: Professional Installation
Professional contractors understand the materials and building methods that create long-lasting, durable structures. While you can certainly save money by building a deck or patio yourself, if your end goal is a deck or patio that lasts, get a pro to help you. In the long run, you’ll be doing yourself and your home a favour.
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