Whether you’re hiring a builder or you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you want to be sure you’re using the best materials to get the most life from your deck. But what joist tape is the best?
Let’s cut through the confusion and help you find the best quality joist tape that will stand the test of time.
Protect Your Structure
More than 90% of a deck’s substructure starts to rot and split around 8 to 10 years, according to research conducted with builders. Your Trex deck comes with a 25-year warranty — and can last much longer — so you want your beams and joists to last just as long.
For a few extra dollars, you can protect your deck foundation by applying a peel-and-stick joist tape that shields the wood against moisture. The tape is applied directly on top of the joists and beams, allowing the wood to breathe. The tape acts as a moisture barrier, so water cannot seep into the screw holes. This type of application protects your decking substructure from rot and decay, guaranteeing that it will last as long as the deck boards it supports.
Picking a quality joist 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.
What Materials Makeup This Tape?
Joist tape typically comes in two types: asphalt and butyl. Butyl tape has many advantages over asphalt-based tape. Butyl tape, such as Trex Protect, is a sealant. It is stickier than asphalt tape, has less high-temperature oozing, and installation occurs in a wide range of temperatures. Butyl tape is also rubberier than asphalt-based tape, allowing it to flow and seal around the screw holes, so the water stays away from the wood.
How Hard is it to Install?
Any contractor or DIY homeowner will tell you to buy a butyl tape that is easy and safe to install and requires little trimming. A self-adhesive butyl tape that lies directly on the boards requires minimum cuts with little overlap. Better yet find a butyl tape that has a non-skid surface making it safer for the installer to walk across during application.
How Long Will It Last?
With thin tape, you risk the long-term durability of the tape. Tape that is too thick is challenging to install. When applying joist tape to your beams and joists, you want to be sure to purchase a tape that is not too thin and not too thick.
Overall, Butyl tape has a longer life than asphalt tape. Why? Asphalt tape starts to break down with repeated exposure to sunlight. Butyl tape, on the other hand, can withstand the test of time.
Check the chart below for a comparison between butyl tape and asphalt tape.
There are several different brands of joist tape available on the market. Trex Protect is the only joist tape that comes with a 20-year warranty, from Trex – the World’s #1 Decking brand. Trex Protect provides you peace of mind knowing that your joists and beams will last as long as the decking it supports.