When you add a new deck to your home, you make a smart investment. Not only do you create a beautiful outdoor living space, but your home also gains value.
In fact, you can expect to recoup about 83% of the cost of building a new wood deck and 65% of a composite deck when you sell your home, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost Vs. Value Report. With a bathroom addition, the ROI is just 57%. For a kitchen renovation, it’s about 60%.
Furthermore, the cost of building a deck is relatively affordable. So if you are looking to add more living space and increase your home’s value, build a new deck.
At the same time, adding a new deck to your home is not cheap, even if you are a do-it-yourselfer (DIY).
According to HomeAdvisor, the typical cost to build 200-500 square foot deck is about $7,000. To protect this investment, add one element to your deck build: deck joist tape.
Extend the Life of Your Deck
Did you know that a deck’s substructure often starts to rot and spilt at around 8-10 years, even with treated lumber? Ensure your deck substructure lasts as long as the deck boards it supports — the boards are warranted to last about 25 years.
Water leaking through your wood, ACQ, or acza-treated lumber or composite decking can cause hidden damage unless your beams and joists are covered. The tiny cracks that form around screws and fasteners are primary pathways for wood rot. For a few extra dollars, you can protect your deck framing by applying a peel-and-stick flashing tape that protects the joists and beams from moisture.
Using a high-quality joist flashing tape — also sometimes called deck joist tape or joist flashing tape — such as Trex Protect can protect the top of the deck joist, rim joist, and ledger board from developing rot and wood decay. The flashing tape will hold water out and help seal around screw holes, metal fasteners, and hidden deck fasteners, to help prevent cracks and corrosion of the metal surface.
The three main choices for deck flashing tape are butyl, asphalt, or bitumen. What’s the difference and which should you choose?
Which is Best: Butyl or Asphalt?
Joist tape typically comes in three types: acrylic tape (G Tape), butyl, and bitumen. Bitumen, made from petroleum and asphalt, will dry out over time, reducing flashing effectiveness. That leaves acrylic or butyl joist tape.
Butyl rubber tape has many advantages over acrylic-based tape:
- It is stickier
- It endures less stain
- It has less high-temperature oozing
- It can be applied in a wide range of temperatures
- It is more rubbery than acrylic-based tape, allowing it to flow better around the decking screws and deck fasteners to create a tighter seal. Again, keeping water out is key to preventing wood damage and metal corrosion.
In summary, butyl tape provides superior weatherproofing for the wood foundation of your deck.
What to Consider in Flashing Tape
Choosing the right joist and beam 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.
Flashing Material As covered above, the two main types of quality flashing tape are asphalt and butyl. Butyl tape, such as Trex Protect, has better adhesion, endures less stain, has less high-temperature oozing, and can be applied in a wide range of temperatures. It can flow better around deck screws for a tighter seal.
Any contractor or DIY homeowner will tell you to buy a butyl tape that is easy to install and requires little trimming. Because of its super grip, you want to be able to put the tape down once on a dry surface. A self-adhesive butyl tape that lies directly on the boards requires minimum cuts with little overlap.
When applying flashing tape to your joists and beams, 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. A thick tape can be difficult to install.
Protecting your joist, beams, and deck support posts should not cost a fortune at checkout. As with any item you are buying, cost comparisons alone may not be the right approach to selecting the best joist and beam tape. You need to consider the full cost to protect your deck, which involves not only the price you pay but also the quality of the tape.
There are several different brands of butyl and asphalt tape on the market. The chart below gives you a comparison and shows why Trex Protect is the leading joist and beam tape available. Not only does it come with a 20-year warranty, but Trex, the world’s #1 decking brand, also backs this product. New products don’t have this kind of track record.
Check out your choices and make the best decision on the best joist tape. You’ll protect the joists and beams from wood rot and preserve your valuable outdoor living space into the future.