Today’s composite deck boards, like those from Trex, are warrantied to last for 25 years or longer. But what about the substructure material underneath? If the posts and beams that support the deck are made of wood, they are likely to deteriorate long before the decking warranty elapses. In fact, a recent survey of builders revealed that almost all wood substructures show signs of splitting, rotting or decay after just eight years.
According to Trex, there is a simple and cost-effective solution to combatting the damaging effects of both Mother Nature and Father Time. Trex Protect Joist and Beam Tape is a self-adhesive butyl tape designed to protect wooden joists and beams from moisture that can lead to rot and the loosening of deck screws and fasteners.
“If a homeowner is going to invest in a premium, wood-alternative deck warrantied to last several decades, it’s only logical that they would want the substructure to last just as long,” explained Dave Kile, north American sales manager for Trex Protect. “Unfortunately, that’s not always the case when working with wood, which naturally weakens over time – especially when subjected to continuous exposure to the outdoor elements.”
Trex Protect is said to effectively shield the tops of joists, rim joists, ledger boards and beams from moisture that can lead to the development of rot and wood decay. It also acts as a barrier between wood and galvanized metal commonly used in construction hardware such as joist hangers. Additionally, Trex Protect seals deck fasteners and helps deck screws hold longer and stronger by preventing moisture penetration and defending against splitting that can result from seasonal freezing and thawing.
Available in two widths – 4.13 cm for joists and 7.94 cm for beams – Trex Protect works on horizontal and vertical surfaces and is applied as a “cap” (vs. wrapping), which allows the wood to breathe. The butyl-based self-adhesive also won’t bleed, dry out as quickly, or curl up and hold water like many asphalt-based tapes.