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Protect your deck from joist rot

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Grace flashing tape

Last summer, I helped a carpenter buddy tear out a rotten deck. The joists were pressure-treated lumber, so I was surprised at how badly decayed they were. But my friend wasn’t. He sees it all the time: deck joists rotting from the top edge down because the deck boards and debris keep them damp for weeks after rain. So he has two rot-fighting tips for deck owners and builders:


1. Take a few minutes occasionally to pull out the leaves, twigs and other debris that gathers between deck boards, especially where the decking crosses joists. A drywall saw works great for this.


2. If you’re building a new deck, cover the joists with rubbery, adhesive-backed “flashing tape.” This will add $50 or more to the cost of your deck, but that’s cheap insurance. You can purchase flashing tape or other items through our affiliation with Amazon.com: Grace Deck Protector 45639 Felt Asphalt Rolls

— Gary Wentz, Senior Editor


Image provided by Grace


Related articles from The Family Handyman:

- Rebuild an old deck with new decking and railings

- 7 Deck building tips

- How to build deck stairs

- Low-maintenance decks

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    • by posted on

      We are selling our home and the home inspector told us that we need deck flashing.  The problem is that our ledger bord is laged through our hardboard siding.  The siding was not cut off so that the ledger board could be under the siding.  Do I need flashing if the ledger board is on the outside of the siding?

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