Tips For Decking & Insulation Projects


Our team answers homeowner questions every weekend on WCCO 830 AM from 9:00 am-10:00 am.  Have your most pressing home improvement questions answered by calling 651-461-9226.  Here’s must-know information from our in-house deck specialist, Luke Panek, shared on 3.26.22.

Brown treated decks need to be refinished every couple of years to keep them looking their best.  This prevents peeling, flaking, and mold growth.  Once wear and tear appears, it is often hard to reverse its appearance.  That’s why it’s important to stay on top of deck maintenance and complete updates even when the finish is still in good shape.  Kiln-dried wood needs a protective coating faster than other types of wood products because it is manufactured with a lower moisture content.

Watch A Deck Installation Project: 

The material you put on your wooden deck boards should be carefully considered to achieve the best long-term results.  Latex should be avoided because it is not very durable.  That’s because the adhesion process is strong enough to withstand use on a floor.  Oil-based products work the best for decking and porch floors.  A good way to tell if the product you are working with is oil-based is if the instructions state that a brush must be cleaned with mineral spirits.

cedar deck

When it comes to composite decks, it’s best practice to use non-wood posts, beams, and ledger boards when possible.  The downside is that treated wood is prone to shrinking, cracking, and warping over time.  This has made the use of steel framing a more popular option.  Not only is it durable, but it is aesthetically pleasing.  The issue with using lumber in combination with synthetic materials is that over time, the lumber moves but the synthetic materials that are fastened down to it, do not move as much.  This can cause the synthetic materials to crack and move because the wood they are screwed to is moving.  If a steel frame cannot be used, kiln-dried lumber is a good alternative option.  This is because the moisture has been moved from it.  This creates stability.

steel frame deck with TimberTech AZEK

Many homeowners question whether they have enough insulation.  A visual inspection of an attic can be a good way to start.  The most common types of attic insulation are cellulose or fiberglass.  Both options should be 18-21 inches in depth.  This provides an insulation value of R-50.  In addition to insulation, healthy attics also have proper levels of air sealing.  This prevents air from your normal living space to filter into your attic.  The amount of insulation within a wall can be difficult to determine without infrared imaging.  This analysis can be completed by a reputable insulation contractor.  Other diagnostic tools utilized by insulation contractors include humidistats and moisture meters.  These scientific tools give contractors actual data about each home’s building envelope so that they can suggest appropriate insulation and ventilation upgrades.

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