Porches And Decks Tips

by Karen Rogers
(New Jersey)

Most porches and decks problems are caused by moisture from the ground below. To control moisture, cover the ground with overlapped strips of polyethylene sheeting or roofing felt. Then top this vapor barrier with 2 inches of sand.

If paint on your porch or deck is always peeling moisture is probably entering the boards from below and causing the paint to lift off. Either install a vapor barrier or paint the underside with the same deck enamel that you use up top.

If your porch is small and light you may be able to raise a sagging joist with a support post. Establish a solid footing for the post. Then cut a 4x4 to fit between the footing and the joists lower edge, adding the amount that you want to raise the floor. Then force the post under the joist.

To reinforce a sagging, weak joist, first straighten it with a 4x4 post or a jack. Then nail to it a new joist of the same length and lumber size. If wooden stair treads are badly worn, carefully take them off and reattach them with your bottom sides facing upward.

To remove a stair tread strike the underside with a hammer. Then strike the top of the tread to drive it back down. This should pop the nail heads, making it easy to grab them with a hammer claw.

The problems that are listed require some experience in the carpentry trade. But if you are a handy person than you should be able to follow the instructions and produce quality carpentry work.

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