If the frame itself is sagging or sloping, it’s best to start by checking the posts and footings. If they’re in good condition, then try installing some joist hangers or other structural hardware to help square up the frame’s structure.
Otherwise, you may be able to use shims to level the deck frame. To do this, place the shims behind the posts and between the base plates and the joists, and then tap them into place with a hammer. Make sure that the shims are close to the same size and thickness, and that you are working on both sides of the frame.
You can also use metal ties and other fasteners to reinforce the connections and ensure the deck frame remains level. Once the frame is stable, you may want to finish by cutting off any excess shim material, or adding waterproofing or rot-protective treatments where necessary.
Do deck joists need to be perfectly level?
No, deck joists do not need to be perfectly level. It is important that your deck joists have some sort of slope, but it is less than the one inch per foot that is needed for drainage. The American Wood Council suggests that when you are building your deck, you should create a slope of 1/8th inch per foot.
This is so that when it rains, water can run off the deck rather than pooling in the middle. Additionally, having a slight slope also helps to properly attach the deck boards to the frame and helps keep the boards from cupping or warping.
Can you shim deck joists?
Yes, you can shim deck joists. Shimming is a process that involves evenly spacing out pieces of wood in order to provide equal support to a structure. It is often necessary to shim deck joists in order to level out uneven sections of the deck or to support heavier sections of the deck.
To shim deck joists, you should first identify which joists need to be shimmed and then measure the area that requires the shim. Local building supply stores sell shims for deck joists and you should purchase the correct size for the area in which you are shimming.
Once the correct size shim has been purchased, you should use a hammer to fit the shim underneath the deck joist and to the ground, ensuring that it is level. You should then repeat this process for any other joists that require shimming and ensure that the final product is even and supported.
What can I use for deck shims?
Deck shims can be used for a variety of purposes when constructing or maintaining a deck, including leveling deck boards, creating a level base before laying the decking, and even leveling the joists of the deck.
Common materials used for deck shims include treated wood, plastic, rubber, or PVC. When using treated wood, be sure to select a board that is specially treated to resist rot and other weather elements.
When using plastic, rubber, or PVC shims, be sure these materials will not be affected by the environment and any cleaning products you may use. Additionally, when using plastic, rubber, or PVC shims, be sure that their edges are rounded off so that they will not catch on other surfaces and cause damage.
How do you fix a crowned floor joist?
If you need to fix a crowned floor joist, the first step is to determine the size and location of the crown. Then, you need to determine the cause of the defect, which could be due to incorrect installation, improper nailing, wet lumber or a combination of these factors.
Once the cause is identified, you can take the necessary steps to repair the defect.
If the cause is improper nailing, consider re-nailing the joist to the correct spacing, with appropriate nails and/or additional fasteners if necessary. If wet lumber is the cause, you can dry out the joist and then reapply framing to make the joist even with other floor joists.
If the cause is incorrect installation, you could consider cutting away the crown and installing a supporting section of wood next to the original floor joist to even out the elevation. There are various braces, metal straps and other products that can be used to reinforce joists, so you may need to consider these as well.
Finally, for an aesthetic fix, you may consider sanding the entire floor joist to get an even finish and return the original floor joist to its original condition. Sanding should be done in a circular motion to maintain an even surface and avoid over sanding any one area.
In some cases, you may need to put a thin veneer or other material to cover the joist and prevent further wear of the floor joists.
Fixing a crowned floor joist may seem daunting, but understanding the cause of the defect and taking the necessary steps can help restore the joist to its original condition.
Can a deck sit on the ground?
Yes, a deck can sit on the ground. However, it’s not recommended because leaving it exposed to the elements increases the likelihood of rot and other damage. If a deck will be directly exposed to the ground, it should be built using pressure-treated lumber, which has been treated with chemicals to protect it from rotting, warping, and insect damage.
To ensure a long-lasting and durable deck, it should also be built on a stable foundation on solid, level ground. This would typically involve pouring concrete footings around the perimeter of the deck and setting the framework of posts and beams on these footings.
This will protect the deck from shifting and sinking when exposed to the elements over time.
Should a deck be completely level?
No, a deck does not need to be completely level. In fact, it is generally preferable that a deck is slightly sloped, with a downward grade of 1/8 inch for every foot, to ensure that rainwater or melting snow runs off the deck rather than pooling up.
However, if the slope of the deck is significantly more or less than 1/8 inch per foot, it should be corrected to prevent it from becoming an issue. When building a deck, you should check the level of the deck while in progress, and use shims and pillows to make appropriate adjustments until the grade is correct.
Making sure the deck is not too level or too sloped will help ensure it is safe and stable.
Why does my deck feel bouncy?
A bouncy deck is likely caused by one of two issues: either there is too much flex in the joists underneath the deck boards, or the deck is not properly attached to its supports. Decks typically rely on several support beams, or joists, to provide structure and support.
If these joists are not placed evenly across the entire span of the deck, the deck will have extra “flex” when weight is applied, causing it to “bounce” when stepped on. Additionally, if screws, nails, or bolts have not been correctly inserted and affixed to the deck’s support beams, the deck may have extra give when walked on.
Checking and tightening these attachments can help to firm up the deck significantly. If the deck’s support structure feels too flexible when walked on, it may need to be reinforced with additional joists before any screws, nails, and bolts are tightened.
Is it OK to shim floor joists?
Yes, shimming floor joists is an acceptable and common practice when building a floor system. It’s necessary when a floor is not completely level and shimming helps create a level surface. There’s more than one way to shim floor joists.
The most common method is to install temporary shims underneath the joist, at the bearing points. The shims can either be wedges of wood or plastic, stacking shims, or an adjustable shim that can be tapped down.
It’s important to make sure that a sufficient amount of shim is installed to level the floor joist. When the joist is level, the shims should be nailed in place. The result is a level floor joist assembly that can then be covered with a subfloor.
In some cases, additional shims may have to be installed on top of the joist to help evenly distribute the weight of the subfloor and the finished floor that goes on top of it.
Can I shim a beam?
Yes, you can shim a beam. Shimming a beam involves positioning spacers or wedges between the top and bottom of the beam and the support surface to level or align the beam. The spacers or wedges help even out any inconsistencies or inconsistencies in a leveled support surface.
When shimming a beam, it is important to use a level to ensure the surface is true and even before placing the spacers or wedges. If you have a solid, level surface, you can fill in any gaps with shims to help level the beam.
It is also important to make sure that the beam does not exceed the load capacity of the shim material, as this could cause the beam to bend or even break.
Are decks supposed to slope?
Decks are usually designed to be level with the ground, but the amount of slope can vary depending on the structure and design of the deck. In some cases, a slight slope may be necessary to provide adequate drainage or to meet building code requirements.
A properly designed deck should always have some slope away from the house, so water will flow away and not damage the house’s foundation. The Code of Federal Regulations requires that decks be graded to direct surface water away from the building and the deck should never have more than a 2 percent slope.
In cases where the slope is greater than 2 percent, a drainage system can be installed to keep water away from the foundation of the house. It’s also important to ensure that the slope is consistent from one end to the other and that the deck’s steps are properly graded for safety and comfort.
Finally, consult a professional if you’re unsure about the amount of slope you should have on your deck.
Should there be a gap between decking and house?
Yes, there should typically be a gap between the deck and house. This is because the deck shouldn’t be in contact with the house’s siding. Many problems can arise from allowing a deck to be in contact with the house such as wood rot, an insect infestation, and water damage.
It’s important to remember that wood can swell, shrink and move with changes in temperature and humidity. To ensure the integrity of the house’s exterior and the deck, a gap should be created between the two frames.
One method is to use a ledger fastened to the house’s framing, but with a gap between the ledger and the house’s siding. This gap can be created by inserting flashing or a strip of metal between the house and ledger.
The second common method is to create a support beam between the deck and house. This will prevent the deck from ever being in contact with the house.
In summary, it’s important to make sure there’s a gap between the deck and house as it will ensure the safety of both structures. Common methods for creating a gap between the two include using a ledger with flashing or a support beam.
Which way up should decking go?
When deciding which way up to install decking, the most important rule is to ensure you install the decking in the correct direction. If you put the decking up the wrong way, the boards may cup, bend, or warp over time.
The “grain” of the wood will always run parallel to the joists or supports, no matter what type of deck you are laying or which species of wood is used. This ensures the board is stable and will not move or flex as much.
When laying the decking, check the end of each board for the most consistent grain pattern. If the wood grain looks uniform and vertical, the board is positioned correctly. If the grain does not look uniform, turn the board around and check the end again.
If you are laying the boards with screw heads visible from above, the area around the heads should look curved and the degree of curvature should be uniform. If the heads look flat, the boards should be flipped in the opposite direction.
Once the boards are laid, they can be secured with clips or screws. When using clips, metal should always be placed facing downwards to prevent rust, as it is not visible when facing downwards. To finish off the look, add some sealant or a decking oil to protect the boards and keep them looking great.
What happens if you don’t space deck boards?
If you don’t space the deck boards correctly when you are building a deck, several problems can occur such as warping, rot and premature failure. Warping of the boards is caused by the boards expanding and contracting in the heat and cold which causes them to cup, twist and buckle.
This can be a real problem when walking around or on it. Rot can occur when the boards are in direct contact with the joist below them and it traps moisture in the wood, causing it to rot and decay. Furthermore, due to improper spacing, a lack of air circulation between the wood can also cause this.
Premature failure is also an issue as the boards will be rubbing on each other and will cause more wear and tear on the boards over time. Spacing your boards is an essential step that should not be overlooked when constructing a deck.
How much space should be between deck and siding?
The ideal space between a deck and siding is an inch or less. This gap should not be wide enough for insects, rodents, or other pests to make their way in, and it should not be wide enough to allow moisture to settle between the surfaces and cause rot or other water damage.
If you have existing decking and siding that do not have an appropriate gap, you may need to adjust the surface of the siding or decking to create enough space.
Other tips include capping off siding with a skirt board, allowing the deck framing to settle and then make sure there is enough ventilation both above and below the deck to prevent moisture build-up.
Additionally, use corrosion-resistant flashing and install it in a way that allows moisture to escape and keeps water away from the siding. Finally, make sure to fill any gaps or cracks between the siding and deck with a waterproof sealant to further ensure proper drainage.
Should deck boards overhang fascia?
It is not necessary for deck boards to overhang the fascia, as long as the deck is correctly constructed. In some cases, the fascia should be set back slightly from the face of the siding to create a drip edge.
If the deck boards are to overhang the fascia, it’s important that they be properly secured. It’s also important to leave a gap between the deck boards and the fascia of at least 1/4 inch to prevent water intrusion and premature rot.
The gap should also be covered with caulk to further protect it. Additionally, if there is a plan to use the fascia as a handrail, it is recommended to extend the deck boards slightly beyond the fascias to create a much more secure railing.
Should you gap pressure treated decking?
Yes, it is important to gap pressure treated decking when installing it. Gap spacing is important because it ensures that the pressure-treated wood can expand and contract with temperature changes, and it also prevents water from pooling around the board, which can cause rot.
The appropriate gap spacing for pressure treated decking varies depending on the type of wood (hardwood, softwood, and composite), but it is usually recommended to leave a 1/4″ to 3/8″ gap between each board.
Additionally, the gaps should be filled with a material like Polyfuse plugging or a compatible sealant to protect against water infiltration. Installing pressure-treated decking requires a bit of extra care, but following proper procedures will help keep your deck looking new for years.