Are you thinking about installing a ground level deck? Ground-level decks have become a very popular choice when it comes to backyard landscape design. However, if you don’t take certain precautions, your dream outdoor living space can swiftly turn into a maintenance nightmare. To make sure you get the most out of your wood decking, we have some tips for you to consider while planning. Premium Decking Products is a top provider of lumber in the Hollywood area. Call Premium Decking Products for your Brazilian Wood decking and more today!
What To Do Know Before Installing Ground-Level Wood Decking
Ground-level decks don’t have ventilation- The biggest problem with ground-level decking projects is that they don’t have enough ventilation. It is recommended to always have at least 18inches of ground clearance to achieve good airflow, but ground-level decks by definition can’t abide by this rule. What happens without adequate ventilation is that the deck boards cup, and moisture on top of the boards can evaporate due to its exposure to open air, while moisture under the boards is trapped. While you can’t prevent this from happening, there are certain things you can do to minimize these effects:
- Use Strong Hardwoods- South American hardwoods like Ipe and Cumaru are some of the most durable decking materials in the world. The dense grain resists cupping much better than softer woods like pine or cedar, and also contain natural oils which fight moisture and all of the issues that come with moisture.
- Use thicker boards- You can roll up a shingle sheet of paper easily, but it’s extremely difficult with an entire ream. Basically, the thicker your material, the harder it is to bend- or, in this case, to cup. When you’re choosing a decking material, remember that thicker boards are always better. Even if it’s more expensive, it will be worth the cost in the long run.
- Use narrower boards- A narrow board is less likely to cup than a wide board. It’s typically easier to fold a piece of paper perpendicular to its long axis compared to its short axis, which holds true for wood. Since the board is narrower, any cupping that does happen will be less severe, since there’s less material to expand and contract.
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- Oil the boards- All hardwood decking species have natural oils that are moisture-resistant. However, you can further protect the wood by coating each board with a special oil-based finish before you install. Ipe Oil is a great choice to do this!
- Space wider- Slightly increasing the gap between boards can improve the air flow, even if only by a little bit. While it won’t have a huge impact, every little bit counts!
- Oil regularly after installation- Even though South American hardwoods are a low-maintenance material, a ground-level deck installation will still require work. Annual oil coatings will maximize the stability of your deck boards.
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There are many considerations when you decide to install wood decking for a ground-level deck. Order Brazilian Wood and more from Premium Decking Products in Hollywood today!