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Old 09-05-2011, 11:34 AM   #1
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Pro Advice: Repair or Replace Deck ledger board and joists?


I have a deck on a house we bought 18 mos ago, during inspection, it was found that the joists were 20oc and the previous homeowner had to add in new joists between the old. For prosperity's sake, I asked them to do ALL and I paid for the extra half dozen that were already 16oc so that it had all new joists. The top of the deck was ok, but I was going to replace anyway.

So, I took off the top of the deck about a month ago, but we had a ton of slight rainy days (no huge storms, but way too slippery to work), and then some unexpected finances put this on hold.

I have two problems now:

1) there were two joists that bowed a bit in the middle and consequently shrunk
about 1/2 an inch (definitely less than an inch). They are still in the joist hangers, but the diagonal screws are now pulled through the tiny edge of the joist and no longer secure it from moving a tiny (less than 1/8 inch) in the hanger. It is NOT close to shrinking so much that it backs out the back of the bottom lip and falls out but I wanted to secure it.

Can I just sister in a two or four foot joist and use a double joist hanger? I don't have a way of transporting 16ft by 8 inch wide joists, and nearest delivery charge is $70 plus lumber. Deck has 19 joists and only two are shrunk like this. Also, if I sister it, how can I fill in the cracks between the sistered parts do that they don't hold water and rot.

2) Other problem is the far main ledger board has some rot. It's a 12 inch wide board that has rotted on the top inch or so. For safety, I installed a joist under the inside mounted to the posts (see pictures). I noticed all the rot was when I pulled out the old joists and hangers.

I was going to use outdoor wood filler and outdoor glue. None of the sides or anything that the joists and hangers are mounted to are weak or rotted. If I use the filler to build up the top to be level and stronger, and then I was going to look for some type of plastic flashing to make sure it doesn't get wet and rot (the filler is rated for outside and water anyway). Id hate to replace it, it'd mean redoing 1/2 my deck.

Any advice or tips greatly appreciated!

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Old 09-05-2011, 11:44 AM   #2
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Pro Advice: Repair or Replace Deck ledger board and joists?


When n doubt, if you can afford and given the damage you show in the photos?

Replace.

Especially since you are talking about structural members.

You cannot fill the kind of rot you photographed with simple wood filler and glue!

You can replace it with structural epoxy wood resortation products from some place like Abatron out of Wisconsin. I started using their stuff ages ago to restore wooden sailboats.

You need new wood though. Just bite the bullet.

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Old 09-05-2011, 12:24 PM   #3
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Pro Advice: Repair or Replace Deck ledger board and joists?


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Originally Posted by sdsester
When n doubt, if you can afford and given the damage you show in the photos?

Replace.

Especially since you are talking about structural members.

You cannot fill the kind of rot you photographed with simple wood filler and glue!

You can replace it with structural epoxy wood resortation products from some place like Abatron out of Wisconsin. I started using their stuff ages ago to restore wooden sailboats.

You need new wood though. Just bite the bullet.
I'd love to, but not in the budget to redo the whole deck that easily. We plan on keeping this house for about 2-5 years at most, and even with a market recovery we have little chance to recoup what I put in. I've already put $$ into finishing the basement (to code and inspected) so I can't sink more money into a whole new deck.

The main thing is that it is all structurally sound still. Nothing is rotted where the load is bearing. Just the top. I was going to take wood glue and sawdust NOT to fix the structure, just to plug up the open top after removing the rot.

Your thoughts? Anyone else?

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Old 09-05-2011, 12:28 PM   #4
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Pro Advice: Repair or Replace Deck ledger board and joists?


Replace it. Get shorter boards so you can haul them yourself. Not talking about much money here.
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:41 PM   #5
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Pro Advice: Repair or Replace Deck ledger board and joists?


That deck appears to have many other issues. The hangers are too small, and are they even necessary there???? The beam looks undersized(2x8?) what is the beam span between posts?
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:43 PM   #6
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Pro Advice: Repair or Replace Deck ledger board and joists?


As far as sistering the joist, you should be ok with that. Nail them well and add the hanger.
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:47 PM   #7
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Pro Advice: Repair or Replace Deck ledger board and joists?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester
OMFG. A guy that wants justification to save a rotted piece of lumber.

I really could point him to epoxy restoration. Would someone else step in and suggest a new piece of lumber a possible option? Before he fills his with wood glue or whatever he had in mind? Or even the epoxy I have in mind.

He says it is not structural.
It IS a structural board, but it is not rotten lumber. It has rot but it wasn't deep though, by no means am I trying to save dangerous wood.

I'll replace it since it's the consensus, but I'm surprised that an 18 foot 2 by 12 has to be replaced due to a 6 inch long by 1/2 inch deep chunk missing (where I pulled out the old joist in picture 3, the screw head broke off, so when I pried the wood out it ripped the top), and a four foot span that has a 1/4 deep, 1/4 wide crack in the top/middle. I thought since it'd be covered by a top deck board, it'd be okay.

How do I prevent it from having a crack in the top from moisture/rot in the future. It's on the end, where all the joists end and mount.

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Old 09-05-2011, 12:54 PM   #8
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Pro Advice: Repair or Replace Deck ledger board and joists?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jdm001 View Post
The main thing is that it is all structurally sound still. Nothing is rotted where the load is bearing. Just the top. I was going to take wood glue and sawdust NOT to fix the structure, just to plug up the open top after removing the rot.
Just so you know, I have never seen a well designed and drained deck rot from the top down. You mention an open top. What does that mean?

www.abatron.com

Great expoxies and wood restoration products. If you need to restore things non-structural, perfect but expensive products.
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:58 PM   #9
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Pro Advice: Repair or Replace Deck ledger board and joists?


I think I got this now. That "ledger" is actually the beam. It looks like a single ply 2x12. Is it treated? I have never seen a single beam like that. This deck was definitely a homeowner project and screams for some attention. I think you should replace the 2x12 and add a second ply to it. Then use galvanized bolts, nuts, washers to secure it to the posts. Gonna be tricky on the one post where the joist is butted in, but it can be done. If you know someone who is a carpenter or deck builder, I would ask them to take a look. Like I said earlier, there are some concerns just in what we see from the pics.
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:38 PM   #10
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Pro Advice: Repair or Replace Deck ledger board and joists?


I replaced the board with 2x12 with two ten footers I was able to find close to home.

All wood was PT, and yes previous homeowner did some "additions" to the deck. The deck was done by a pro, but them he sistered in 4x4 posts to the original and cut grooves into it to hold a small picket fence along the bottom to close it off.

He then attached it on the top so that it created a dip, and when I removed the outer most board, I saw the water got under it and created a 1/4 inch gap. When I pulled out the old joists, one stubborn one took a chunk out, and that's the big picture of "rot" above. It was some rot, some me ripping out a joist.

So, I got deck galvanizes 5" lag bolts, installed in crisscross pattern (except in the middle where I had to do them vertical to get enough of the post).

Lastly, why such angry responses? I have seen it on here before to others... Someone asks for help in a community forum and you belittle them (and attacking me because of my phone??! Really?!)

I asked for help. When someone answered and i asked for more help, I didn't do so in a way that I thought would second guess anyones opinion (especially when they are trying to help me!n, I thought maybe I didn't explain it well (because I got advice on the wood instead of how to fill in the smaller cracks to prevent further damage).

thanks to all that helped. Here's a few pictures to show what I did, and now I'm going to start putting in all the joist hangers.

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Old 09-05-2011, 05:36 PM   #11
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Pro Advice: Repair or Replace Deck ledger board and joists?


it's ok,one day you will try to answer a question on here and only then will you understand the frustration that sometimes come from doing so

real or imagined
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:43 PM   #12
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Pro Advice: Repair or Replace Deck ledger board and joists?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Struble
it's ok,one day you will try to answer a question on here and only then will you understand the frustration that sometimes come from doing so

real or imagined
Lol understood

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Old 09-05-2011, 10:46 PM   #13
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Pro Advice: Repair or Replace Deck ledger board and joists?


If/when you do replace the deck........ read this carefully for the recent changes; http://www.awc.org/Publications/DCA/DCA6/DCA6-09.pdf

Gary

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