Comparing Joist Protection Tape: Buy the Best QualityBy Dave Kile
Home improvement is always an investment — one that can add considerable value to your property. Yet, it comes at a cost. Even if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you may spend thousands on materials. Building a deck is no different.
Protect your investment and hard work with one easy, low-cost step.
Protect Your Timber Deck Foundation
According to our research conducted with builders, more than 90% of a deck’s substructure starts to rot and spilt at around 8-10 years. Deck boards can last 25 years or more, so you want your bearers and joists to last just as long or longer.
For a few extra dollars, you can protect your timber deck foundation by applying a peel-and-stick deck protection tape that shields against moisture. The tape is applied as a cap (vs. wrapping) directly on top of the bearers and joists, allowing the timber to breathe. The tape acts as a moisture barrier, so water cannot get into the screw holes. This type of application protects your deck foundation from rot and decay, guaranteeing that it will last as long as the deck boards it supports.
Selecting the Best Joist Tape
Choosing the right joist protection tape doesn’t need to take a lot of effort. However, there are a few things you need to consider before you make your purchase.
Joist projection tape typically comes in two types: acrylic, such as G-Tape, and butyl. Butyl tape has many advantages over an acrylic-based tape. Butyl tape, such as Trex Protect, is a sealant. It is stickier, endures less stain, has less high-temperature oozing, and can be applied in a wide range of temperatures. Butyl tape is also more rubbery than acrylic-based tape, allowing it to flow better around the screws to create a tighter seal.
- Ease of installation
Any contractor or DIY homeowner will tell you to buy a butyl tape that is easy to install and requires little trimming. A self-adhesive butyl tape that lies directly on the boards requires minimum cuts with little overlap.
- Resistance to tearing
When applying deck protection tape to your bearers and joists, you want to be sure to purchase a tape that is not too thin and not too thick. With thin tape, you risk the long-term durability of the tape. Tape that is too thick can be difficult to install.
- Longevity of the Tape
For a full comparison of products, see this chart:
There are several different brands of joist protection tape on the market, but Trex Protect is the leading product available. It’s the only joist protection tape that comes with a 25-year warranty, from Trex, the world’s #1 decking brand.