Q&A / 

DEAR TIM: Recently a deck collapsed near where I live and people got seriously injured. The report blamed the failure on the use of nails that had corroded and couldn’t hold the weight. Could this be right? Every deck I know of has been built with nails and they seem to be fine. What is […]

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Teresa Schenck has a rotten wood threshold at her home in Bettendorf, Iowa. Here's what she sent me: "As you can see, this piece of wood at my back door is rotting. It is about 1.5-2 " wide, and maybe 6-8" deep. My deck is also there. I am replacing the wood decking. I want to […]

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DEAR TIM: Over the summer I ripped up the old boards on my deck and replaced them with new pressure treated boards. Now that they've had time to dry out, I'm about to stain the deck but I've discovered that a handful of boards are already splintering and cracking. This is really disappointing especially since […]

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Patrick McNeill, who is revitalizing his deck in Woodstock, GA asks: "Can I flip my deck boards instead of replacing them. They are treated lumber." You bet you can flip them. There's no harm in doing so. While you're at it, be sure to clean off any debris from the top of the support joists […]

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Quick Column Summary: How to clean teak table Pressure washers can cause damage Use an oxygen bleach Seal with synthetic resin DEAR TIM: I purchased a used teak outdoor table from the online classified ad website Craigslist. It was a great deal, but it needs some tender loving care. How do I clean it? Should […]

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In May of 2012, I started an extensive outdoor test in real conditions of quite a few name brand deck sealers.  The test was conducted here in central New Hampshire. The sealers were tested on treated lumber and cedar decking. Both are very popular wood species used for outdoor wood decks and structures. Here's the […]

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If you are building a deck, you will need to mount the wood posts on concrete piers. First the concrete piers must be in the proper location or the support beams won't be lined up. The deck must also be supported for side forces and uplift forces.

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Searching for the Holy Grail of deck stains and sealers? Most wood deck stains or sealers don't last. You are faced with staining your deck year after year. A side-by-side test of deck stains could show which product performs that best. I did the test and the results are in.

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