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  • #16

    Re: Cedar Decks

    Re: Cedar Decks

    Originally posted by Brian @ Muir View Post
    my experience with cedar is obviously different than some. I am having a set of plans drawn at this time for a deck that is on a house that is 18 years old. No idea when the deck was built but the people were unable to use the deck last summer as the cedar decking is full of rot.I have yet to see a cedar deck that was any older than 20 years. The client that I did the hardwood floor for last week has a PT deck that I built 29 years ago and it is as solid today as when I built it. I am not a big fan of the 5/4 decking as with the thinner deck boards as they are really prone to checking. I find that a full 2x6 stands up a lot better and the cost difference is within a couple of cents and that disappears when you got to 24 inch centers on a full blown 2x6 for decking. I have built decks using cedar and in fact built one in Ottawa for a client last summer. They are a nice deck but my experience is that the ones I have had experience with they do not last as long as PT.

    brian
    Brian a question of interest for me. Was there any finish applied to that 29 year old PT deck or was it left to age naturally? Most often I have NOT been able to convince people to leave decks [Cedar or PT] untreated.

    I wouldn't use PT for deck floors anymore even if I was asked to do it. That's just me Tho.
    "Do it Right!"

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    • #17

      Re: Cedar Decks

      Re: Cedar Decks

      Originally posted by Rusty View Post
      Brian a question of interest for me. Was there any finish applied to that 29 year old PT deck or was it left to age naturally? Most often I have NOT been able to convince people to leave decks [Cedar or PT] untreated.

      I wouldn't use PT for deck floors anymore even if I was asked to do it. That's just me Tho.
      What are your reasons? Just curious.
      Jamie www.turneddesignsbyjamie.etsy.com

      Comment


      • #18

        Re: Cedar Decks

        Re: Cedar Decks

        I live 2 hours west of Toronto and i can get all kinds of white cedar just like this .

        aa.jpg

        gg.jpg

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        • #19

          Re: Cedar Decks

          Re: Cedar Decks

          Jamie i don't like PT mainly because it hasn't performed as advertised for me. I've replaced a lot of it years ago that was mush and dust. The best I ever used was bought by a fellow who actually owned a lumber business in Edmonton. It was for his mother and came from Spray Lakes Sawmill if my memory is any good. We used it for joisting but not for floor boards. It was the kind of PT product that had all the little cuts in the face where the preservative had been impregnated. Obviously it was way too rough to walk on in bare feet. So I guess it boils down to failure and smooth surface. If you cut it you should apparently paint some preservative on the cut end. If you listen to, or read the specs and systems used to impregnate the wood, it seems to me that simply painting a cut end can not be expected to "FORCE" the preservative into the wood as they do under pressure at the Mill and for that reason it fails. I've also experienced the center board of a built up [2x12] beam rot right out because moisture can not escape from the middle lamination. I know that can happen with any wood but it seems to me it happens quicker with the PT. Maybe water gets into the wood thru those pressure cuts in the surface. I dunno but it fails.

          For me it's Cedar 2x6 first and composite products second for flooring boards. Colour has some bearing on my thoughts as well.
          "Do it Right!"

          Comment


          • #20

            Re: Cedar Decks

            Re: Cedar Decks

            Rusty... The 29 year old deck has had Thompson's applied and probably a few other things early on. The only thing that I have noticed with the Thompsons is that it does help eliminate the checking that you will get with untreated PT. Marketing seems to dicatate what the general public see's as quality and at one time cedar was the ultimate deck and I fully agree that it is best to leave it untreated. Unfortunately when you build a $40,000 deck and Gazebo in an area of high end homes they do not want it to look like the Beverly Hillbilly's back yard when it comes to color. I think what we have to consider is that the old guy up above does not make all lumber exactly alike and when it goes to the PT plant we are introducing the human factor and money and that can really send things askew. I have no doubt what yu are saying about your cedar chairs or anything else and as I said earlier my comments are not related to what I have read but what I have experienced. I am not a big fan of PT as it may seem with my posts. I just finished a kitchen for my neighbor and they decided they want a fence. I am going with PT posts and rails and 1x10 rough pine boards applied in a board and batten style. The house is a converted church and the grey of aged pine is what they wants so I am a happy camper. Now I just have to figure where I am going to find the time.

            Have a great day.

            Brian
            If your dreams don't scare you, you are not dreaming big enough

            Comment


            • #21

              Re: Cedar Decks

              Re: Cedar Decks

              Thanks for that Brian.

              Your fence sounds similar to my own which is 20 plus. I used PT 6x6 for posts set in concrete. That's all we could get from the post installers. $75.00 per post, installed, if I remember right. 2x6 Spruce for rails and 1x6 rough sawn Cedar for board and batten.
              "Do it Right!"

              Comment


              • #22

                Re: Cedar Decks

                Re: Cedar Decks

                I thought setting any type of wood into concrete was now considered a no-no because it holds moisture continuously against the wood.

                As far as life of decks goes, the big factor is water and sun. If it can't dry it will rot and wet cedar is not rot-proof. Vertical cedar lasts forever but so does most vertically hung wood; horizontal depends on how many moisture pockets you have and a pocket can be nothing more than a sunk nail or screw head. Hot sun contributes to cracking and coating failure.

                Current deck is PT framing and Trex. Love it.

                billh

                Comment


                • #23

                  Re: Cedar Decks

                  Re: Cedar Decks

                  Originally posted by billh View Post

                  As far as life of decks goes, the big factor is water and sun. If it can't dry it will rot and wet cedar is not rot-proof. Vertical cedar lasts forever but so does most vertically hung wood; horizontal depends on how many moisture pockets you have and a pocket can be nothing more than a sunk nail or screw head. Hot sun contributes to cracking and coating failure.
                  A lot of the problems people have with decks is in the design. If there is good airflow and the decking can dry out they last longer. Most people want the deck boards too tight together and then let the spaces fill with dirt and vegetation that holds moisture and inhibits air flow. I have a double door going into my shop with a cedar deck built in 1992 leading up to the door. I had to replace the deck last year, it rotted in front of the passive leaf of the double door. The active side was fine, the passive side always had scraps, garbage cans and debris on top of it so it was always damp and couldn't dry out.

                  My opinion on decks, as well as kitchens is that a 20 year life is just about the time you're tired of it and ready to try something new.

                  Comment


                  • #24

                    Re: Cedar Decks

                    Re: Cedar Decks

                    Originally posted by billh View Post
                    I thought setting any type of wood into concrete was now considered a no-no because it holds moisture continuously against the wood.

                    As far as life of decks goes, the big factor is water and sun. If it can't dry it will rot and wet cedar is not rot-proof. Vertical cedar lasts forever but so does most vertically hung wood; horizontal depends on how many moisture pockets you have and a pocket can be nothing more than a sunk nail or screw head. Hot sun contributes to cracking and coating failure.

                    Current deck is PT framing and Trex. Love it.

                    billh
                    Y'all are welcome to come out west and try to kick over my old DSCN0874 (Small).JPGDSCN0873 (Small).JPGDSCN0875 (Small).JPGDSCN0855 (Small).JPGfence posts. Same offer. I'll buy the plane ticket and if you can't kick it over you can pay me back and we'll sit on my old Cedar chairs on my old Cedar deck in the sun and drink some cool ones.
                    "Do it Right!"

                    Comment


                    • #25

                      Re: Cedar Decks

                      Re: Cedar Decks

                      While Rusty is bang on with his observations in his very dry climate, the sames rules don't apply here in Ontario where moisture and humidity never really allow exposed wooden structures to ever dry out. I've lived in both areas and the difference is huge. You couldn't even eat a sandwich outdoors in Calgary, the moisture in the bread would evaporate start to turn it crusty before you finished it.
                      Paul

                      Comment


                      • #26

                        Re: Cedar Decks

                        Re: Cedar Decks

                        Originally posted by OttawaP View Post
                        While Rusty is bang on with his observations in his very dry climate, the sames rules don't apply here in Ontario where moisture and humidity never really allow exposed wooden structures to ever dry out. I've lived in both areas and the difference is huge. You couldn't even eat a sandwich outdoors in Calgary, the moisture in the bread would evaporate start to turn it crusty before you finished it.
                        Paul is dead right. I've lived in both places too and for the reasons he states, when I built decks and nothing but decks i never left any gaps between the deck boards in the West because I knew the wood shrinkage over a summer would give me the gap I needed for air movement . In Ontario I always used a 1/4 inch spacer.
                        "Do it Right!"

                        Comment


                        • #27

                          Re: Cedar Decks

                          Re: Cedar Decks

                          I use new cedar every day and i don,t leave any space . I did this fence exactly 1 year ago in my yard and these boards where all tight when i screwed them down . Some of them shrunk at least a 1/4 of an inch just in 1 year . Cedar shrinks here in Ontario just like anywhere else . My entire fence now has gaps in it everywhere .

                          1-DSC00867.jpg
                          1-DSC00869.jpg

                          Comment


                          • #28

                            Re: Cedar Decks

                            Re: Cedar Decks

                            No disagreement here John. The only difference I can think of between the two locations that could bear on shrinkage is my wood will start out already drier than yours but that's only a guess. The other thing is the material in terms of size. 1x6 versus 2x6. One may be more stable than the other. Whatever, the results are inarguable. I know a friend here who used 2x6 Spruce for decking and started out with 1/4 inch space and ended up with over 1/2 an inch an an irritated wife. She or her girlfriends couldn't walk on the deck with high heels on. After the first BBQ party he had to buy a couple of pairs of heels for the ladies and if you've ever bought or paid for shoes for the wife you'll know they generally start at a couple hun a pair........LMAO.
                            "Do it Right!"

                            Comment


                            • #29

                              Re: Cedar Decks

                              Re: Cedar Decks

                              Originally posted by Brian @ Muir View Post
                              my experience with cedar is obviously different than some. I am having a set of plans drawn at this time for a deck that is on a house that is 18 years old. No idea when the deck was built but the people were unable to use the deck last summer as the cedar decking is full of rot.I have yet to see a cedar deck that was any older than 20 years. The client that I did the hardwood floor for last week has a PT deck that I built 29 years ago and it is as solid today as when I built it. I am not a big fan of the 5/4 decking as with the thinner deck boards as they are really prone to checking. I find that a full 2x6 stands up a lot better and the cost difference is within a couple of cents and that disappears when you got to 24 inch centers on a full blown 2x6 for decking. I have built decks using cedar and in fact built one in Ottawa for a client last summer. They are a nice deck but my experience is that the ones I have had experience with they do not last as long as PT.

                              brian
                              I've had a similar experience Brian. The house we bought 5 years ago had a cedar deck. The house would have been 15 years old when we bought it, no idea when the deck was installed. Within a year we had to remove the railing as the posts were rotting quite badly, the deck was finally ripped up last year and replaced with a concrete pad. I was very surprised how bad this cedar was being only 15 years old.

                              That said I think a big part of why this deck didn't last was because it was only 12 above grade (to the top) and the rim joists were almost at grade preventing air flow. When I ripped up the deck I discovered that he installers had put down 6mil poly with thin layer of screeding on top, this I believe made it even worse as the water that wet though the deck had no where to go.

                              I'm no expert but I think for any deck to last you NEED good air flow and drainage. Water and wood don't mix well no matter what species.

                              Comment


                              • #30

                                Re: Cedar Decks

                                Re: Cedar Decks

                                Also guys what do you guys think about tongue and groove cedar for the deck fence as i have a high elevation deck and since im in the middle of the city im planning on building a 5 ft privacy fence along the sides and aluminum railings along the front and down the stairs.

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