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Dewey 07-09-2010 09:02 PM

New PT deck railing warp
We had a new pressure treated deck with railing installed 9 months ago. We waited 2 weeks and then stained it. Within the past month the top railing boards have pulled away from each other at the corners and a railing post has warped. My contractor says this often happens with PT wood and he will not repair/replace it. What do I do now?

Just Bill 07-10-2010 06:00 AM

What he probably said is, he will not replace it for free. He should have warned you about PT wood and its' characteristic to warp and check. Even if he didn't, it does. Depending on how the post was installed, it could be a major project to replace it, and there is no quarantee that the new one will not warp. If the warped post really bothers you, replace it, there is no fix for the warped piece.

This is a DIY website, so DIY.

Thurman 07-10-2010 10:57 AM

I agree with Bill's answer but would like to add: Depending on your area, which you did not indicate, Pressure Treated wood(s) will react differently to weather/environment. The most likely scenario IMO is this: The wood used for your top railing boards was of a pine/spruce/fir variety which is an open grained wood. The PT process is composed of injecting chemicals which resist damage from the elements and insects. This injection process is done by putting the wood into a large sealed container and the chemicals are put in under high pressure. MOST of the PT wood(s) found here in S. GA. is still wet from this process at the lumber supply centers as there is such a quick turn-around of this wood. Your top rails were likely this way, wet when installed, and now have dried out which is normal. The chemical(s) are still in there. With the wood drying out, there is shrinkage and warping. IMO--your contractor faulted by not telling you there was a high probability of this happening. I build decks, trellis', Pergola's, etc. and see this often. One option you may have would be to use one of the newer synthetic woods, Trex for example, only for the top rails. Almost all of these synthetic woods have unique problems but will not shrink. Good Luck, David

Gary in WA 07-10-2010 04:52 PM

P.t. wood is treated against bugs and rot. Some of it is water repellent, but usually needs a separate treatment to protect it from the elements.
You need to clean, stain and waterproof p.t. right away before the sun dries it out and water hits it:

Read all:

Be safe, Gary

Thurman 07-11-2010 09:19 AM

To add to Gary's note about dryer ducts: I am adding a deck to a customers double-wide mobile home. I had to remove some skirting to do this and there was the dryer vent there. When I removed the dryer vent hood I noticed a large build-up of dryer lint. After removing some skirting I looked into the dryer vent hose, the plastic accordion type and it was at least 3/4 blocked. I brought this to the homeowners attention and they exclaimed "Would that have anything to do with taking a long time to dry clothes?" Not only that but the heat build-up in the vent hose is a fire hazard IMO, I informed them. Now, I have another task--install a metal dryer vent line. David

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