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Friday, 17 September 2010 19:28

Redwood Decking


Redwood, like cedar is a soft lumber that will age to a pleasing grey. If it is left untreated Redwood will blacken if exposed to prolong moisture. Redwood is rot resistant but will maintain it's attractive look if treated with a sealer. Redwood decking shares many of the Cedar decking attributes. It is competitive with the Cedar in most cases, but does have to maintained with equal or greater care as does Cedar. 

Redwood will provide you with a very distinct look to your deck and like some of the other exotic woods such as Mahogany, cambara and Tiger Deck, the brand name for the Latin American relative of the cashew tree will provide you.
This has been the most popular deck material for many years. Hundreds of thousands of redwood decks have been built. However, redwood use in decking is dropping off for several reasons. First, it is more expensive than ever and the cultivation rates have changed while other materials are taking its place.
Due to cut backs in cultivation, the quality of the "construction" grades has been liberalized. The old growth redwoods are being saved (and we're in support of that!) while the new growth redwoods are being harvested. These new growth trees are small, yielding materials with a higher concentration of knots and sapwood. Redwood with high levels of sapwood will decay relatively fast, ESPECIALLY when sealed with products that try to lock out the moisture. (Many sealers can actually accelerate decay because they impede the ability for the deck boards to dry out quickly and thoroughly!) Redwood has also lost its popularity because of other options now available. You can buy alternative materials that last longer, look better (long term), and cost less.
IMPORTANT NOTE: As you get your quotes and shop for a new deck, beware of the deception that redwood deck photographs create. REDWOOD MAKES FOR A BEAUTIFUL DECK PHOTO - but ask to see a redwood deck several years old or even less. That beauty, unfortunately, is only temporary.
A major advantage of redwood is its ability to stay straight with a minimal number of fasteners. We recommend careful study when looking at fastening redwood and cedar. Avoid headed nails and fasteners with electro-plate galvanizing. Consider using a good quality, double hot dipped, casing head, ring shank nail (usually 3-1/2" for 2x6’s) over the use of a screw. Most homeowners today request screws, but screws can be a bad choice for some situations. Why? Screws leave hundreds of holes all over the deck surface, they’re a little slower to install, and more expensive. Screws do allow easy removal of the flooring though. On the other hand, when shown how their deck surface will look, most homeowners seem to choose the small casing head nails over the screws. Some of the new hidden bracket systems can also be............
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