Selecting The Appropriate Nails, Screws, Or Fixtures Before Building A Deck

To ensure a long, trouble-free life for your deck, it’s critical to use the proper fixings to secure the planks to the bearers. This choice is influenced not only by local climatic conditions and proximity to marine environments but also by the type of wood used. Given the longevity of your deck, it’s best not to skimp on the fixings, as the higher cost of higher-quality products will be repaid many times over with longer service life and a more attractive deck.

Generally, standard iron nails should not be used on external decking because they can corrode rapidly in certain climates or near marine environments, leaving not only black stains around the nail holes, but also eventually corroding to the point of snapping. Bear in mind that all wood will twist and warp to some extent, so it is critical to secure wood planks to bearers at regular intervals to prevent the timber from moving. If you choose to use nails, use a high-quality galvanised nail that is recommended for exterior Decking Melbourne. Take note that certain species of timber, most notably Western Red Cedar, Merbau, and Redwood, contain tannins that can accelerate corrosion more than other species of timber.

If screws are used to secure the decking planks to the bearers, they should be stainless steel or a high-quality plated screw. However, there are numerous methods for plating screws, and some of the less expensive products may look great in the packet but become unsightly after a few years of use. The plating may be superficial at best, and while screwing screws into the plank, the plating may be damaged, allowing corrosion to begin on day one. Therefore, it is critical to use a high-quality plated screw that is specifically designed for use on exposed decking.

Stainless steel screws will always provide the best long-term results. Although these screws are significantly more expensive, their increased longevity, consistent appearance, and lack of blackening around screw holes more than compensate for the additional cost. Additionally, stainless steel screws should always be used in marine environments, as even plated screws can experience significant corrosion problems in such harsh environments.

Apart from nails and screws, there are a variety of other fastening devices available on the market. These devices typically involve driving the metal fixture (typically galvanised iron) into the sides of the planks rather than the top and nailing the fixture to the bearers. One obvious advantage of this method of attachment is that there are no visible screws or nails on the top surface. However, one disadvantage of this type of fixing system is that if planks need to be replaced at any point, it’s extremely difficult to lift up and replace any plank in the middle of a deck. Normally, the replaced plank would need to be secured with nails or screws. Due to the rarity of such replacements, this may not be a significant issue.

Additionally, a deck can be covered with a timber surface that does not require nails, screws, or other fasteners. On the market, modular wood decking tiles that simply lock together via an integral plastic base are available. The base not only allows water to drain freely from beneath the tiles but also secures each tile in place. While such decks cannot be installed over traditional timber bearers, they are extremely useful for covering existing concrete patios and courtyards, avoiding the hassle and expense of tearing everything down and rebuilding.

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