Author Topic: Fixing tongue and groove decking  (Read 1566 times)

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Offline Deke

  • Posts: 229
Fixing tongue and groove decking
« on: June 24, 2018, 08:14 AM »
Supposedly new decking (from previous owners known to do everything cheaply) on back porch looks good otherwise, but from this pic, you can see why I am worried about the edges exposed to the elements. I actually never had a wood deck or porch before, so please forgive the ignorance. Questions please.

How would you repair this?
Where to start to find replacement board(s) if needed?
Best way to keep this kind of board from rot, and bulging at seems at ends?

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Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3562
Re: Fixing tongue and groove decking
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2018, 09:01 AM »
My guess is that they did not use pressure-treated lumber.  I'd replace it all and NOT use T&G to avoid having places for water to pool and cause rot.
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4582
Re: Fixing tongue and groove decking
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2018, 10:42 AM »
I replaced a T&G porch on a Victorian house in pine, that only lasted about 10-12 years. This porch was covered completely with a large porch roof with generous overhangs. They look great when they're finished because that's how it was done in the 1890's. The problem with T&G is there is no way to drain the water that accumulates unless the porch surface is pitched in some direction. Even then, boards curl and water puddles. So there's still a problem with the water getting between the tongue and groove, swelling the wood and then fracturing it. That's the problem you have in your photo of the tread.

So if this is a covered porch, you can work with it but it will require a lot of maintenance and care. However, if this is actually a deck, then follow Sparky's advice and replace the deck with something more appropriate.     

Offline Deke

  • Posts: 229
Re: Fixing tongue and groove decking
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2018, 10:49 AM »
Thanks to both of you. It is a covered porch. The ends jut out a bit to the back and rain blows into the back edge.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3332
Re: Fixing tongue and groove decking
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2018, 01:09 PM »
T&g flooring exposed to the weather is bound to fail yet it has been the standard procedure fornearlyever. “Inferent vice” is the fancy term.

Also, wood isn’t as durable as it once was. A method that held up for decades when old growth wood was used might fail in a couple of years if made with farm grown stuff.

I’d use vertical grain Douglas fir and rip off the t&g. Gently radius the edges (about 1/16” r) to reduce shrinkage stress on the paint, and then prime and paint all six sides (after sizeing to fit). Install with 1/16” gap if in the summer or 1/8” in winter. Fasten with screws from underneath if possible or use finish nails then fill and topcoat.

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2186
Re: Fixing tongue and groove decking
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2018, 09:06 PM »
T&g flooring exposed to the weather is bound to fail yet it has been the standard procedure fornearlyever. “Inferent vice” is the fancy term.

Also, wood isn’t as durable as it once was. A method that held up for decades when old growth wood was used might fail in a couple of years if made with farm grown stuff.

I’d use vertical grain Douglas fir and rip off the t&g. Gently radius the edges (about 1/16” r) to reduce shrinkage stress on the paint, and then prime and paint all six sides (after sizeing to fit). Install with 1/16” gap if in the summer or 1/8” in winter. Fasten with screws from underneath if possible or use finish nails then fill and topcoat.
. How about Cypress if you can get it?  It might hold up better than Douglas Fir... [scratch chin]
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 5591
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Fixing tongue and groove decking
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2018, 12:12 AM »
Ipe or teak with SikaFlex 290-DC.  (I have no problem spending your money) [eek]

Tom

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2186
Re: Fixing tongue and groove decking
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2018, 09:23 AM »
Ipe or teak with SikaFlex 290-DC.  (I have no problem spending your money) [eek]

Tom
   [eek] [eek] [eek]...... [doh]  Too Funny...
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline Brice Burrell

  • Posts: 7337
  • Remodeling Contractor
    • The Green and Dark Blue blog
Re: Fixing tongue and groove decking
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2018, 10:00 AM »
I've lost count on the number of porch repairs on old victorians I've done over the years.  Repairing a few boards on the ends is always a very temporary fix on a wood porch.  The wood flooring you get now isn't going to last, period.  You have to except that.  At a certain point you'll need to replace the entire floor.  My advice, don't use wood.  If you are dead set on wood then you better be ready to shell out the money for Ipe (you're not going to be able to do it Teak) as Tom said. 

I use Azek or Aeratis (slightly more budget friendly) PVC porch flooring.  Azek comes in maybe ten colors, Aeratis only comes in a few colors, although they say you can paint it will good results (I've never tried painting the stuff). 

When you repair the stairs use PVC (or Ipe) because nothing else will last exposed to the elements.  On the porch itself you can patch in boards to replace the rot with wood, but you're just kicking the can down the road for a few years.  If you can fit it in the budget I'd replace it all now.

If you do the work, or hire it out be prepared to repair some framing too.  When you get some of the flooring off god only knows what you'll find with the framing.  Its rare you can just throw down new flooring without having to address rot and/or a hundred years of shoddy work, if it was even built correctly in the first place (and it probably wasn't).  Good luck.     
Check out my new blog, The Green and Dark Blue Blog.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4582
Re: Fixing tongue and groove decking
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2018, 10:37 AM »
If you do the work, or hire it out be prepared to repair some framing too.  When you get some of the flooring off god only knows what you'll find with the framing.  Its rare you can just throw down new flooring without having to address rot and/or a hundred years of shoddy work, if it was even built correctly in the first place (and it probably wasn't).  Good luck.   

Good point Brice...I should add that when I replaced the T&G porch floor, I also had to repair probably 30-40% of the sub-structure. One entire corner section of the structure had to be replaced, that was everything including the support posts to the footers. It didn't look that bad from the top but once the planking and skirt boards were removed, it was all toast.

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 5591
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Fixing tongue and groove decking
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2018, 09:55 PM »
Ipe or teak with SikaFlex 290-DC.  (I have no problem spending your money) [eek]

Tom
   [eek] [eek] [eek]...... [doh]  Too Funny...

You laugh, I've actually done it. That is why I knew the size hole it would put in his bank account.

http://festoolownersgroup.com/member-projects/ipe-floor-project-not-your-everyday-job/

Photo attached from the above link.

Tom

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4582
Re: Fixing tongue and groove decking
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2018, 08:44 AM »
That's interesting...it looks like the deck of a sailboat.  [smile]

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2186
Re: Fixing tongue and groove decking
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2018, 09:03 AM »
Ipe or teak with SikaFlex 290-DC.  (I have no problem spending your money) [eek]

Tom
   [eek] [eek] [eek]...... [doh]  Too Funny...

You laugh, I've actually done it. That is why I knew the size hole it would put in his bank account.

http://festoolownersgroup.com/member-projects/ipe-floor-project-not-your-everyday-job/

Photo attached from the above link.

Tom
  I was laughing at the 'I don't have a problem spending your money part'-  The project link you posted looked interesting- how long did all the grooving and caulk filling take on the floor?
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 5591
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Fixing tongue and groove decking
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2018, 12:32 AM »
Ipe or teak with SikaFlex 290-DC.  (I have no problem spending your money) [eek]

Tom
   [eek] [eek] [eek]...... [doh]  Too Funny...

You laugh, I've actually done it. That is why I knew the size hole it would put in his bank account.

http://festoolownersgroup.com/member-projects/ipe-floor-project-not-your-everyday-job/

Photo attached from the above link.

Tom
  I was laughing at the 'I don't have a problem spending your money part'-  The project link you posted looked interesting- how long did all the grooving and caulk filling take on the floor?

About a week.

Tom