Re: question about resurfacing decks
From: Mark Harfenist (
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2008 14:55:28 -0700 (PDT)
I believe there's some confusion here about what is meant by "decks."  Unless 
I've lost the plot completely, the original poster was asking about solid 
plywood decking covered with a continuous polymer coating which provides total 
water, UV and abrasion protection as long as its integrity is maintained.  This 
is a different approach to decking from the more typical residential wood or 
"Trex" planks with spaces between them.

My own best experiences with solid plywood decking involved using butyl rubber 
sheets, a.k.a. "rubber roofing," glued in place to form a continuous weather 
barrier.  This material lasts essentially forever.  The butyl was covered with 
floating wood decking consisting of sleepers and deck boards.

This is probably far more elaborate (and expensive) than desired, but because 
the wear surface in such a system is distinct from the weatherproofing 
membrane, expected lifespan much greater.  By using treated or composite 
materials for the walking surface, a deck might last decades without further 

Hope this helps.


--- On Wed, 8/20/08, Kay Argyle <kay.argyle [at]> wrote:

> From: Kay Argyle <kay.argyle [at]>
> Subject: Re: [C-L]_ question about resurfacing decks
> To: "'Cohousing-L'" <cohousing-l [at]>
> Date: Wednesday, August 20, 2008, 2:40 PM
> Traffic is not the major factor. Weather exposure is - sun,
> wind, moisture,
> salt spray, pollution. Few finishes last more than about
> two years if
> exposed, and, with the exception of only a few tree
> species, wood
> deteriorates without a protective finish. (Unprotected
> plywood goes downhill
> fast.)
> A suggestion of a product for forming groups to look into,
> to avoid the
> question of how and how often to resurface decks from even
> arising -
> About two-thirds of our units have a second floor deck. Due
> to needed
> repairs to the walls below (drainage issues), most were
> temporarily removed
> in early '06.  We had the choice of having the boards
> put back or replacing
> them.  After evaluating the condition of the decking, some
> chose to replace.
> One or two used "sustainably harvested" tropical
> wood, but most had Trex
> installed, a recycled-material polymer/wood composite
> (there are other
> brands also). It looks like wood, can be sawed like wood,
> is available in
> various "wood" colors, or with a matte texture
> instead of wood grain - and
> needs _no_ upkeep.
> It's been 2 1/2 years - three summers.  If we had gone
> with wood, we would
> need to be refinishing again. I don't remember any
> off-gassing smell (by
> contrast, most refinishing products are pretty obnoxious).
> It hasn't faded,
> doesn't splinter, hasn't warped or cracked or
> popped the nails like the
> boards did, doesn't scar as readily, doesn't stain
> from leaf tannins if we
> don't get all the leaves swept off before the snow
> falls (an impossibility),
> ignores damp plant pots that we forgot to raise on pot feet
> - it doesn't
> even seem as hot under bare feet as the wood got.  
> It costs more initially than standard decking lumber. The
> National Park
> Service is using it for boardwalks in Yellowstone (probably
> other places as
> well, but that's the park I've visited most
> recently) - and given their
> budget constraints I'm sure they looked into the
> cost/benefit ratio very
> carefully.
> Based on our experience (so far at least), I'd heartily
> recommend it.
> Kay
> Wasatch Commons
> SLC UT - a climate that is hard on wood
> _________________________________________________________________
> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other
> info at: 


Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.