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  • Newbie needs advice

    I hired a professional carpenter and deck builder to do my deck last year, the workmanship is great, all cedar, screwed, and built as a free floating structure, where as I'm told the wood is not cemented below the ground but rather the deck sits on cemented posts.
    I notice that when I walk on the deck I hear the boards creeking, its weird,. don;'t have a clue what that is. I was thinking that maybe some felt should have been put down on the joists. It sounds like snap crackle and pop when I walk on it. not normal, I left a message for the builder, but thought I would ask here to give me some info before hand. thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Newbie needs advice

    You did right to contact the builder first. Any pro appreciates the opportunity to fix problems with his work. Sounds like some screws may have loosened as the wood dried. If that's the case, it should be no big deal to fix.
    Andy Engel
    Editor, Professional Deck Builder

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    • #3
      Re: Newbie needs advice

      Unable to get hold of contractor, so I tightened all the screws (by hand) last week, and for a few days it was fine, no sqeaks now the screws are coming loose again. I've asked pro carpenters, guys at lumber yards, no one has a clue why these screws keep coming loose. they are in joists, 2.5 " long screws coated deck screws......anyone take a guess at this mystery?

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      • #4
        Re: Newbie needs advice

        Did you ever seal or stain your deck?

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        • #5
          Re: Newbie needs advice

          BTW, tightening the screws by hand is a major chore. Rent, buy, steal, or borrow a 12v or 18v impact driver.
          Andy Engel
          Editor, Professional Deck Builder

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          • #6
            Re: Newbie needs advice

            Glad you brought up sealing, last fall I had someone seal the deck, I discovered it was more of a surface type stain, and I wanted a penatraing stain, so I waited till a few months ago and hired another company to strip it and use the right sealer, it looks great now, however this is when I noticed the screws and sqeaking, could this be the result of the stripper?

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            • #7
              Re: Newbie needs advice

              How long did you wait before you got the company to use the penetrating sealer on your deck? The reason why I'm asking is because we're in a climate where the weather can go to one extreme to the other.....from blizzards, high humidity, rain and more rain. So with all of that soaking and drying, over and over...these pressure treated materials are taking a beating..which causes splitting and shrinking. After we complete a wood deck, we've got a seal and stain guy in our back pocket, and we send him the customer info immediately. He does give it about a month to let the wood dry out so the sealant will absorb and penetrate the wood the way it should. On our customers whom don't wait, we haven't received calll backs on any screws or boards popping. We've got one right now, where we finished up his deck in February of this year, he still hasn't sealed, and he's got boards popping, screws popping and squeaking. We've been kind and went back out and put screws back in, but we insisted he hurry and seal his deck.

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              • #8
                Re: Newbie needs advice

                Well, I paid a visit to turbomangt and inspected the deck and it looks very good. It does, however, creak in all directions as he said. Joists are 16oc with 5/4 cedar decking. I did not measure joist depth but it is only 18 to 21 inches off the ground. I spoke to my old mentor, and his experience says that it may likely be undersized joists that move along with relatively thin light weight-decking and tightening the screws is only a temporary fix. His recommendation was using liquid nails to permanently tie the decking to the joists just like you do with plywood sheets for flooring.

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