How to Prolong the Life of Blackbutt Decking
Are you planning to build a deck using unseasoned Blackbutt timber? Below are some of the measures that you can take to get the longest life possible from your blackbutt decking.
It is normally advisable to store any timber for some time at the installation site before using it. Such storage allows the timber to adjust to the ambient conditions in the location where it will be used. However, this storage period can result in some problems, such as warping, in case the timber is not handled or stored correctly. Place the timber on an elevated surface, such as a pallet, so that it is not exposed to any moisture on the ground. Secondly, leave the timber in its stacked bands throughout the storage period so that it can retain its shape until you need to use it. It is also important to cover the timber so that it is protected from rain and direct sunlight.
Your unseasoned timber may split if you try to drill bolt holes in it as it dries. It is, therefore, better for you to pre-drill the bolt holes before you put the timber into storage while it gets acclimated to your local conditions. The pre-drilled holes should be slightly wider than the diameter of the bolts that you will use. That extra width will cover any shrinkage that occurs in the timber.
Select Fasteners Carefully
Some sections of your timber deck are likely to be exposed to moisture. It is advisable to use galvanised or coated fasteners in such timber sections. Those fasteners will not corrode when they are exposed to moisture. Other fasteners that can corrode create gaps that harbour moisture. Such moisture accelerates the rate at which your decking will succumb to moisture damage and rot.
Use End-Plates and Sealants
It is also helpful to apply a sealing compound on all the exposed end grains of your Blackbutt decking. Such sealing products will avert any end-splitting that would have occurred if moisture was allowed or get in or exit too rapidly as that timber seasons. End-plating can also be done on the larger timber sections so that they do not split due to shrinkage.
The measures above may not be all that you need to get the longest service life possible from your timber decking. Work closely with a Blackbutt decking expert so that they can advise you about the specific measures that are helpful for decks in your locality.