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Avoiding Decking Defects

Jun 2015

A real wood deck is naturally beautiful, unrivaled by imitators and can last for a very long time. Typical cedar decks can last for 15 to 20 years, but what is it that makes them so resilient? Why do some decks fail early? The answer to these questions lies before the deck is even purchased.

Defects in Wood

Cupping occurs when wood shrinks at different rates"Cupping" is a common defect in deck boards and occurs as wood dries out from it's fresh cut "green" state. As wood dries it shrinks more along the growth rings than it does across them. Boards that are "plain sawn" or "flat sawn" have flatter looking grain, (not vertical grain) and will tend to cup more than quarter sawn or rift sawn.

Flat sawn boards are quicker to make and are less expensive than quarter sawn, rift sawn or vertical grain boards but will tend to cup more. To some builders, the savings in the initial purchase can be worth it but tend to put the bark side down so that the edges of the board are not sticking up.

Avoiding Common Decking Defects

Not all boards are the same, and you can reduce defects like this by selecting a higher quality board. Kiln-dried boards will reduce these defects and have a superior appearance.

Stop in today or give us a call and we can help you decide which boards are better quality than others. Doing a little bit of research now can save you a lot of work in the future!