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4 year old deck - snapped boards, flexing, cupping and badly dried out

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  1. #51
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pharmaboy2 View Post
    but dont wreck all that work by putting down pine for the sake of $300
    Can only agree for people who are prepared to do the never ending maintenance and want the timber look, personally I reserve the timber look for indoors and undercover. From the pics, the OP clearly neglects the regime, and unless he is prepared to change that, premium knotless treated pine is an ideal option.

    If it was poor ventilation and dampness, the Treated pine subfloor would also be showing signs of rot.
    The treated pine that is there would not necessarily be expected to show signs of decay.

  2. #52
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    We got our composite decking as clearance at Bunnings, but even if we were doing it again I think it's what we would use. As a bonus at extra cost the little brackets that hold the grooved boards in place act as spacers
    https://www.bunnings.com.au/ekodeck-...cking_p0121077
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

    Legal disclaimer denying responsibility to be inserted here.

  3. #53
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pharmaboy2 View Post

    If it was poor ventilation and dampness, the Treated pine subfloor would also be showing signs of rot.
    TP is designed to withstand attack from these types of problems, some hardwood can survive some insect attack but all hardwood is susceptible to wet rot in the right situation, low grade hardwood is more susceptible.
    Looking at the mould on the bottoms of the boards it definitely a moisture problem, TP will happily withstand this (to a point), if it didn't there would be a hell of a lot of decks collapsing.

    I have seen TP framing sitting 40mm off the ground in exposed decks with the underside blocked off for step access, lifting up the TP boards to do some other work there was no issues with the TP framing or decking boards after 8 years, this is not an ideal situation but does show you the resilience of the treatments, as long as no soil gets near it, TP is fairly tough stuff.

    The main culprit that kills H3 TP is if it comes into contact with soil, and the decking boards lack of maintenance over 10 years, hardwood decking will deteriorate quicker than TP decking over the same period of zero maintenance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pharmaboy2 View Post
    Treated pine boards look like treated pine boards, they also get more slippery than hardwood, and have 2 advantages only - they are cheaper and easy to hand nail
    They also come in set lengths up to 6m long, this is a massive advantage not only for laying them but no joins midspan means less areas for water to cause issues.
    They only get slippery when they are not coated, and usually put upside down, plus in damp situations with no sun exposure, his is an open deck so this problem is minimised, nothing that a quick clean with oxalic acid cleaner won't fix in 20 minutes.

    Quote Originally Posted by pharmaboy2 View Post

    dont wreck all that work by putting down pine for the sake of $300
    Have you seen the price of merbau decking lately, is hovering around $5.50 to $6.00 per lm.
    This is a 100% premium over pine, plus the set long lengths of pine are a big bonus.

    Pine can look fine if you coat it with a decent product such as Intergrain Ultradeck stain in something like Charcoal or ebony, it gives the boards that modern look, and this stuff is very tough and long lasting in the dark colours.
    You need to let the pine dewax for a month or two so before applying it or you won't get the depth of colour.

    Pine looks crap when you try to stain it to look like another timber, the trick with pine is to stain it in something that does not mimic another timber.

    Plus he said the house is going to be a rental, renters don't care if the deck it hardwood or pine, renters are not going to look after it regardless of the timber.
    If he sells, potential buyers will see the new boards in pristine condition and be very happy with this,

    Irrespective what timber goes down it needs to be maintained which has clearly not been done, so putting down an expensive hardwood and not committing to cleaning and oiling it every 12 months, might as well just chuck the money down the drain now.
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

  4. #54
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoungBolt View Post
    ok, haven't done it to the same spec as the picture unfortunately.

    I put the aggy about mid way along the retaining wall. It has a stronger fall than 1:100. It drops about 300mm across a 4m span.

    Admittedly didn't use any geofabric at all.

    Backfilled the rock about 100mm from the back of the retaining wall all the way from the base to about 50mm from the top. Just put soil ontop of the rock.

    Rock was mostly scoria with a mix of some left of 20mm crushed rock.

    I've never checked the amount of water that comes from the pipe. The soil under the deck is fairly dry now. I might soak the area around the retaining wall with the hose and see if the soil under the deck gets wet and if any of the agi pipe drains into the pit it's connected too. A section of the agi pipe is covered by some paving that I mortared in place.

    Definitely will change the way I do retaining walls in the future to include geotec fabric. No one I know who has done them before and gave me advice actually recommended a sock or fabric. Most said that rock is enough around it and 50mm of soil ontop shouldn't be a problem.
    agi pipe is meant to be at the bottom of the wall to pickup the water as it sinks, if it at the top or midway is next to useless as water falls through the soil and build up against the wall, this is what causes most retaining walls to collapse due to the weight of the wet soil pushing on them.

    No sock means soil particles will quickly work there way through the aggregate and block up the holes in the pipe again making it useless.
    You live and learn from mistakes, as long as you learn for the next time.
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  5. #55
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    That's Tallowwood for you.
    It lasts far longer than that in tidal salt water.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoungBolt View Post

    I've never checked the amount of water that comes from the pipe....
    Herein lies your demise, drainage, along with (far more than likely) an awful example of Grey Gum. It is an amazing volume of water that comes of, even a small section, of roof.

    I would forget using wood in your predicament, unless that down pipe and obviously other drainage problems are addressed to the utmost. As you stated earlier "It's always wet". I would concrete with taking notice of the advice above.
    I take back what i said earlier about "low deck", yours is within the minimum boundaries, but it is all the other conflicting drainage/airing problems that multiply, the very close, closed in fences for example.

    Hopefully you can repurpose your salvage to other uses, if not sell it.

    As for painting verandah/deck I couldn't think of much that is more disturbing, natural wood, amongst the most beautiful natural and regenerative things on earth, in this situation, to be covered by paint!
    Once worn, (traffic areas) sand or strip the lot and start again. Even worse than the acrylic "so called" oils. One of the very few places where Marc and I differ significantly.




    “Wood, if you stop to think of it, has been man’s best friend in the world. It held him in his cradle, went to war as the gunstock in his hand, was the frame of the bed he came to rejoicing, the log upon his hearth when he was cold, and will make him his last long home. It was the murmuring bough above his childhood play, and the roof over the first house he called his own. It is the page he is reading at this moment; it is the forest where he seeks sanctuary from a stony world.”
    ― Donald Culross Peattie.

  7. #57
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushy View Post

    As for painting verandah/deck I couldn't think of much that is more disturbing, natural wood, amongst the most beautiful natural and regenerative things on earth, in this situation, to be covered by paint!
    Once worn, (traffic areas) sand or strip the lot and start again. Even worse than the acrylic "so called" oils. One of the very few places where Marc and I differ significantly.
    Not at all, repainting is a breeze and far easier and less often than what is required for any 'natural look' finish. Select the right colours and it looks good. I wouldn't do it to hardwood, only knotless TP which is more durable anyway.

  8. #58
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    As for painting verandah/deck I couldn't think of much that is more disturbing, natural wood, amongst the most beautiful natural and regenerative things on earth, in this situation, to be covered by paint!
    Wood is perishable.
    When wood was a much more common building material than it is today, it would have been ridiculous to leave it unpainted at the mercy of the elements.

    It is only in this era of pretences, where image and apparences are paramount, that we have invented the "natural look" of naked wood exposed to rain and sun, applying a couple of coats of oil, over and over in the hope it keeps it's looks without rotting.

    Any wooden boat owner knows, the effort required to keep the boat hull afloat and without rot with never ending coats of paint every year ... and the dozen of coats of varnish required for that wood above deck to keep on looking like wood.

    Painting a hardwood deck is only natural, and looks as good as any other painted wall, beam ceiling eave etc, on any building. Even expensive wooden floors indoors are painted.
    The oiled look on a hardwood deck is nice when new, but it fades far too soon, and the novelty of oiling it, follows the same path.

    In brief, oiling a wooden surface that is horizontal and exposed, is bad practice, only done for some convoluted idea of being "natural" (as opposed to artificial?), forgetting that there is nothing natural in the oil we use and much less in the water based concoction of pretend oil that is rammed down our throat this days for "environmental reasons". Oiling is only conducive to constant maintenance and expenditure that is completely unjustifiable.
    An average deck will require 200 litres of "natural" oil ( yea right) ... as opposed to 20 litres of paint in a period of ten years.
    Paint the wretched thing ...
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  9. #59
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    No sock means soil particles will quickly work there way through the aggregate and block up the holes in the pipe again making it useless.
    Debatable.
    A french drain is a form of filter. Water needs to pass through this filter and find it's way in the pipe to be disposed of.
    The problem is that water carries silt. The way to stop the silt from clogging the pipe is not a fine sock on top of the pipe, but a strong non woven fabric all the way at the origin of the silt, that is against the soil and with a foot or two of aggregate between the fabric and the pipe. This form of filtration uses a much larger surface than that miserable sock they put on the Ag pipe.
    The holes in the pipe are much bigger than the holes in that sock anyway, so if the drain has no geofabric, it is better off with an ag pipe with no sock. THe sock will be clogged up much quicker than the holes in the pipe.
    Science is never settled,
    it advances one funeral at the time.
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  10. #60
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Debatable.
    A french drain is a form of filter. Water needs to pass through this filter and find it's way in the pipe to be disposed of.
    The problem is that water carries silt. The way to stop the silt from clogging the pipe is not a fine sock on top of the pipe, but a strong non woven fabric all the way at the origin of the silt, that is against the soil and with a foot or two of aggregate between the fabric and the pipe. This form of filtration uses a much larger surface than that miserable sock they put on the Ag pipe.
    The holes in the pipe are much bigger than the holes in that sock anyway, so if the drain has no geofabric, it is better off with an ag pipe with no sock. THe sock will be clogged up much quicker than the holes in the pipe.
    Same.

  11. #61
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    Can see your reasoning clearly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Wood is perishable.

    ...Any wooden boat owner knows, the effort required to keep the boat hull afloat and without rot with never ending coats of paint every year ... and the dozen of coats of varnish required for that wood above deck to keep on looking like wood....

    ...An average deck will require 200 litres of "natural" oil ( yea right) ... as opposed to 20 litres of paint in a period of ten years....
    That's a tad contradictory, "never ending coats of paint" and "An average deck will require 200 litres of "natural" oil ( yea right) ... as opposed to 20 litres of paint in a period of ten years"

    I regard varnishing and oiling to be similar ways to preserve and beautify wood, with oil being far easier, while varnishing for finer works brings out the full beauty. Yes agree that oil is not natural but paint is far less natural, requiring much further refining/additives.

    I'm well aware of the necessary maintenance on a boat, having lived on a sloop for some years, and had/have fellow boaties with wooden boats. The thing I'm trying to get across.... Their wooden boats, with all their maintenance, always looked so, so much better than my (painted) ferro and all the other plastic/steel (painted) things bobbing around.

    OK, admittedly, it is a "horses for courses" kind of thing, but I will always enjoy oiling and nourishing my verandah boards till I can't lift up a lambswool mop thingy anymore, as I have enjoyed looking after all my "wood" projects since my boating days... and enjoy the beautiful wood grain that nature provided. A few hours a year work is nothing compared with the enjoyment we get from the far more natural look of our boards.

    One thing I can agree with both you and Phil on is I would defiantly paint pine deck boards if I had them............ ( strange cold shivers down spine)..... ......

  12. #62
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Ha ha ... yes, it is very personal choice, and yes, it is not that much work. However, judging from the state of older decks that were once the pride and joy of the owner, it is blatantly obvious that building a deck requiring two yearly oiling in order to remain in good nick is a bad decision, that leads to an inevitable grey deck.

    Think what a boat would look like if the exposed timber would be oiled instead of varnished.
    No contradiction. A boat requires constant painting because it is in the water. A deck requires constant oiling because oiling is an inadequate form of protection. Since clear coatings as used indoors don't do well outside, there are really two choices. oil two yearly or paint once every decade. For a deck requiring 20L of product for two coats, we are talking about 400L of oil as opposed to 20L of paint. Let's be generous and say paint every 5 years so it is 40L of paint.

    Sure, a new deck recently oiled can be very nice, but once it loses it's shine, it looks terrible. I rather have paint that comes back clean every time it rains.
    One day we will have the inevitable ... a plastic deck that is actually viable, and that will be the end of the debate. Just like with boats

    Here is mine docked in my backyard. And it does need painting every year with antifouling.

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  13. #63
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    interesting read and glad you got to the bottom of whats caused it (not necessarily the answer you wanted) but maybe consider.

    gal box section bearers/joists
    plastic decking

    no maintenance
    no rot

    its what i'm doing in the next year or so to replace a small deck off our back door as i've incorrectly used H3 treated post in the ground. I'm waiting for the day they can give us a composite plastic post that can be load bearing the same as timber or steel.
    Remember if you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by havabeer View Post
    interesting read and glad you got to the bottom of whats caused it (not necessarily the answer you wanted) but maybe consider.

    gal box section bearers/joists
    plastic decking

    no maintenance
    no rot

    its what i'm doing in the next year or so to replace a small deck off our back door as i've incorrectly used H3 treated post in the ground. I'm waiting for the day they can give us a composite plastic post that can be load bearing the same as timber or steel.
    Just use a Hot Dipped Gal post and forget about it for the next 50 years minimum.
    Where did you even buy a H3 post, I have never seen them offered in H3 only H4,5 and 6
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

  15. #65
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    H3 posts are readily available here. Work fine in stirrups

    Which is what you could do with your post havabeer - jack the deck, cut the post, remove the in-ground post and concrete and reset with a stirrup (easy to type, harder to do )

  16. #66
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Agree R3no ... Hopefully there is enough head room under the deck to remove the old post.
    I usually 'make' posts by laminating two 140x45 and sit them in a stirrup. H3 of course, the same material the rest of the deck frame is made of. I despise 90 x90 post.
    Round logs in H4 are another matter. Good stuff, but then I don't like them in the ground or concrete either.

    Having said that, I am preparing a site to build a Bali Hut. Been thinking about this for a while. I thought about this for so long that the local Thatch shop closed down ( bummer) Anyway their kits were horribly expensive, I can get the thach somewhere else.
    3mx4m, 4 corner post, H4 8" logs and to keep with the 'hut' look they will need to go in the ground.Wondering if I just plunk them in the ground and thump a bit of aggregate around them ... or concrete around and aggregate in the bottom ... or concrete the lot.
    Decisions decisions
    Science is never settled,
    it advances one funeral at the time.
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