DECKING INSTALLATION SUGGESTIONS
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STORAGE AND HANDLING:
Keep your decking covered with a tarp prior to installation to prevent bleaching from the sun. Your hardwood decking is kiln dried but it should be allowed to acclimate to your outdoor environment one to two weeks prior to installation
Spacing between Planks: Spacing between planks should be determined by the climate conditions in the various regions throughout North America. We recommend utilizing a 1/4” space for additional drainage, airflow and expansion.
Span: You must consult local building codes to be sure you are following local regulations. Generally, 4/4x4 and 4/4x6 decking can be installed with joists on 16” centers. 5/4x4 and 5/4x6 decking can be installed with joists on 24” centers. When installing on an angle, joist spacing should be on 12” centers. Final joist spacing should only be determined after consulting local building codes. You can butt up the ends tightly.
Build your deck so that the surface is at least 18” above the ground. There must be adequate air circulation underneath the deck in order to prevent cupping and warping of boards. In wet areas or over water, additional clearance is recommended. For decks 60” or less above ground, a vapor barrier is necessary to prevent moisture from absorbing into the underside of the decking boards. see Figure 1.
If the deck surface will be less than 12” above ground, suggest using nominal 5/4x4 deck board size.
Decking Fasteners: We suggest using stainless steel screws for the best results, 2 screws per joist, and pre-drilling prior to fastening. Using exterior wood glue from deck to joists, as well as fastening with SS deck screws, penetrating 1-1/2” or more into deck joists, and staying 3/4” from edges of boards, is the best method to ensure trouble free service.
Hidden Fasteners: We do not recommend hidden fasteners for optimum installation.
End Sealer: WalkGreen® Decking is always end-sealed during manufacturing to help prevent splitting and checking on the ends of boards. We recommend that the boards are end-sealed as soon as reasonably possible after cutting during installation. A clear, water-resistant wax should be used. One such product is Anchorseal from UC Coatings, although several other products are available. If the material is not end sealed the manufacturer will not honor any claims under the warranty.
In order to help prevent surface checking, cupping and discoloration, we recommend WalkGreen® Decking be finished on all four sides, prior to or immediately after installation. Especially in dry, sunny conditions, finishing should be done prior to exposure to weather.
Finishing WalkGreen® Decking on the underside of your deck will reduce potential cupping by inhibiting moisture from absorbing into the wood. If a natural silver color is desired, finishing can be done with a water seal product. For best results, apply the treatment according to the manufacturer’s directions. To maintain the natural color, a high quality penetrating oil finish with UV inhibitors should be used
WalkGreen® Decking can also be pressure washed, but you must be careful not to damage the surface wood fibers by setting the pressure too high. Pressure washing may be necessary between oil treatments in order to remove surface discoloration.
Hardwood decking can be easily crosscut with a good quality chop saw using a carbide-tipped blade. Ripping can be done on a standard table saw, using a well-aligned high quality fence and a carbide-tipped blade. When drilling, always use the highest quality drill bits available. If screwing through the face, a countersink bit with a positive stop should be used so all screw heads end up at a consistent depth. If not pre-drilling, be sure not to let the fastener sink too deep into the wood. Fasteners should be lubricated for easiest assembly.
Routing or planning can be done with high speed steel or carbide cutters. Feed speed should be fairly slow. Sanding is recommended to complete your project.
Safety glasses and a dust mask should always be worn when working with hardwood lumber. We recommend an active carbon filter dust mask. Some people may have an allergic reaction to hardwood dust. Remove wood slivers immediately to prevent infection.
Drilling, Sawing, sanding or machining wood products generates wood dust, a substance known to the State of California to cause cancer. Avoid inhaling wood dust or use a dust mask or other safeguards for personal protection.
Our South American hardwood decking products are carefully manufactured and inspected to ensure quality. However, these products are natural wood products and are subject to variations in weight, density, color, grain and performance. Wood decking is subject to dimensional changes as the moisture content in the wood fluctuates with humidity in the air. Swelling, shrinkage, checking, and other movement of individual pieces are normal occurrences in wood decking.
Some water stains and some sticker stains can occur due to the length of sea and road travel that these species endure. Also, some portion of the material will be Quarter Saw/Raised Grain. This is a natural part of the material and cannot be avoided. The solution to mitigate these issues is to sand the material prior to installation.
Local building codes must be consulted when building an exterior deck. Most counties require building permits.