When you’re planning to build a new deck, of course, you want to check out websites and magazines and find a stunning layout for your perfectly crafted boards and railings. However, as the old saying goes, beauty may be only skin deep. To make your beautiful deck last, don’t forget the substructure.
If you’re a new DIYer: the substructure is all that goes beneath those deck boards and holds strong through the years. This includes hardware, footings, posts, beams, and joists (the beams and joists runs perpendicular and form the grid beneath your floorboards).
To make sure your substructure lasts, be sure to do these three things:
- Choose quality materials. Whether you’re using wood timbers or composite boards (made from recycled plastic), be sure to find materials that will last, especially in your climate. Also, be sure you use quality hardware to hold all of this lumber or composite material together.
- Protect your wood substructure with decking flashing tape. Wood is prone to rot, so making sure it doesn’t get wet again and again will add years of life to your deck. Choose a joist and beam tape such as Trex Protect® to cover the wood and shield it from moisture. Trex RainEscape also sells wall flashing tape that will keep water away from the ledger board.
- Keep the water away. If you’re installing an under-deck drainage system to a second-story deck, be sure you choose one that protects your joists and beams from moisture. Trex RainEscape® offers an over-joist deck drainage system that is second to none. It will ensure water never touches your joists or beams. With a dry space below the deck, you can double your outdoor living space.