How to Prepare Your Deck for Hurricane Sandy

Protect the inside and outside of your home before a hurricane comes!

With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the Northeastern US, here are some critical things you must do to prepare your deck:

Article by: Advantage Trim and Lumber

  1. Bring in all planters and any loose items – Any loose item left on or even under your deck will turn into a missile in the midst of hurricane force winds. You might be tempted to tie down certain items, but we caution against this since it is a temporary solution that most times won’t stand up to the 75+ MPH winds of a hurricane.
  2. Dunk your patio furniture – A tip that most Floridians know is that a secure place to store patio furniture is in the pool. That’s right. Carefully place your metal or plastic patio furniture inside your pool and you won’t have to worry about it being swept away or damaged. If your outdoor furniture has a glass top, or if you don’t have a pool, bring it inside.
  3. Secure any loose boards or railing! – If you notice any loose railing, spindles, or deck boards, secure them with the proper fasteners. The last thing you want is to undertake any preventable deck repairs. Don’t bother using nails since they offer no lasting holding power. Use stainless steel screws meant for outdoor use only.
  4. Don’t go out on your deck during the storm, ever – Remember just because you took the time to prepare your deck for a hurricane doesn’t mean that your neighbors did. Don’t go out on your deck during the storm since flying debris can inflict major damage to you and your family. The last thing you want is for someone to get injured and no way to get medical attention.

If you live anywhere near the coast of Delaware, Washington DC, Maryland, New Jersey and New York, we encourage you to heed any and all warnings. Remember, even if you’re not worried about the wind, water damage, especially near the coast, storm surge is a reality. Take care and stay safe!

NADRA Atlanta October 2012 Meeting Re-Cap

NADRA Atlanta Chapter Meeting Re-Cap                                                                                              October 2012

Thanks to all who attended the NADRA Atlanta Chapter meeting this past Monday evening at the Ivy in Buckhead.  We had 60+ attendees and many guests from the Principia Conference.  I want to thank Larry Pease with Trex for sponsoring the meeting and for a great presentation.  Our guest speaker was Ryan Magnon the Senior Manager, Hospitality and Service Design, Chick-Fil-A.   Ryan gave us a great presentation and left us with some new ideas on how to brand our companies and provide superior customer service.

I had the opportunity to review the recent Deck Expo Show and highlighted many of the things that went on at show this year including our recent National meeting.  Our own Bobby Parks is the new Vice president of the National Board so please congratulate him next time you see him and He can fill you in on any of the “happenings” with NADRA national.  We had four Atlanta members that attended the Master Deck Certification classes; David Tibbetts (Atlanta Decking & Fence), Frank Pologruto (Decks & More), John Lea (DeckSouth), and Craig Jacks (Nyloboard).  We also had several members that participated and won some of the National Deck Awards; John Paulin (Tailor Decks) won three awards, Rick Goldstein (Mosaic Group) won two awards, John Lea (DeckSouth) won two awards, and Frank Pologruto (Decks & More) won two awards.  Congratulations to all of the winners and thanks to all who participated

Rich Phillips (Decks By Design) spoke to the group about a HomeAid Atlanta project that we are undertaking in the coming weeks in South Atlanta.   HomeAid is nonprofit group that is affiliated with the Atlanta Home Builders association and they provide transitional housing for the homeless in Atlanta.  We are beginning to coordinate some of our efforts with the Atlanta HBA and this is the second project that we will be working with them on.  Please contact Rich or myself if you can help us with materials or labor.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday– December the 12th.  This is our Big Year End Event and we are holding at Maggiano’s – Cumberland Mall location.  Arch will be our sponsor and we are still working on our guest speaker.  This is our time to look at the year past and to plan for the coming year – we need a big attendance so please put it on your calendars and note that Spouses are encouraged to attend.  We will also be putting together a “Toys for Tots” drive at the meeting – details to follow. Thanks again to all the out of town guests that took their time to join us – we loved having you and hope you can join us again anytime you are able.

 

Respectfully Submitted                                                                                                            Keith Compton / Chapter President

NADRA October 2012 National Code Meeting

We were quite pleased by the turnout of professionals that attended the meeting at Deck Expo about the development of the 2015 IRC.  Members from all aspects of our industry sat together while we delivered a message about the upcoming code modification process, the goals, needs and the current status of NADRA in regard to this process.  This was followed by an open format for member to discuss their concerns and ideas and to ask questions.  This meet and greet was a great start to getting the association working together on important code issues that affect us all.

A few points of discussion:

1)   It was brought up by a member that the lateral load anchor detail in the IRC should be a priority of NADRA in the upcoming process.  This code provision has garnered the attention of the entire industry since it’s inclusion in the code.  Builders and code administrators alike are baffled with how to handle this detail in the application of the code.  However, it is not easily removed from the code, as was discovered in the process for the 2012 IRC, where it was proven that logical issues would alone not remove it.  The testing performed by Washington State regarding lateral live loads from deck occupants was discussed as a possible reference for deriving actual lateral loads that need resistance, as opposed to an arbitrary number, now provided in the IRC.  It was strongly agreed that this portion of the IRC needs modification, but equally recognized that research and testing will likely be necessary for the ICC membership to consider any modification proposal.

2)   The need for funding for the work of NADRA in the code change process was discussed, as well as ideas for fundraising.  Builders present were brainstorming ideas for a grass-roots type of support and fundraising that allows builder members to directly support and promote the NADRA code change efforts.  It was recognized that the financial burden couldn’t be put solely on the shoulders of our industry members.  At the same time, industry members still showed their support in the effort.  When industry pros like FastenMaster and Fiberon stand with builders for a common effort in code, you know you’ve got an industry working together.  The Professional Deck Builder, a trade journal, was also there, and offered to help publicize our efforts.

3)   The strategy for growing NADRA’s presence in the ICC modification process was discussed.  It was proposed that NADRA select some low-hanging fruit code modifications that will be an easy win.  This will allow NADRA and NADRA’s representative, Glenn Mathewson, to make a good and positive first impression on the ICC membership and committee during the 2013 process.  The primary efforts will be focused on reviewing, commenting and proposing modification to proposals submitted by others.  The ICC process provides many opportunities to building and modify the code throughout the process, including modification of others proposals.

If you are a NADRA member, or an industry professional, we invite you to join us in the discussion of the future of ICC code provisions that affect deck construction.  Send an email to NADRA Headquarters, at info@nadra.org, or to Glenn Mathewson, at glennmathewson@nadra.org

NADRA Announces NEW Membership Packages

We are proud to announce our new membership packages! When the requests poured in to create a year-round opportunity to support the association, we listened. These new packages will provide you with more value added benefits and services from NADRA. We are excited to present to you the new packages in Bronze, Silver, and Gold.

Each package has been customized to include annual dues and sponsorships for one flat fee. Packages include year-round marketing opportunities while saving you money. This means, one payment for year-round participation. Packages include website presence, education sponsorship, NADRA’s Main Event sponsorship & more. Our hopes are that this will allow for budgets to be presented to your company in advance to ensure NADRA’s continued growth.

For our members who wish to remain in the original categories, those options are still available to you. Opportunities for individual sponsorships are still available through NADRA’s Media Kit. We appreciate all of our members, and this is a great way for you to feel that while you’re helping NADRA achieve its goals, you’re also getting more “bang for your buck”.

Click HERE to view new membership application!

Ask NADRA: Tilting Support Posts

February 3, 2012 |

My deck is supported by wood posts that rest on concrete piles set into the ground. The concrete piles seem to be moving causing a tilt to the wooden post (inward, toward the house). Do you have a guideline on how much post tilt is acceptable?

Glenn Mathewson, NADRA’s Technical Advisor, responds:

I can understand your concern and I’m glad you contacted NADRA for assistance. From what you have described, it does not reflect an appropriate foundation system. All foundations, including those for decks, must be placed a minimum of 12 inches below undisturbed soil. That refers to soil that has not been backfilled, rototilled, installed with sod, or any other disturbance. In a common yard the pier would be at least 18” below the top of the final grade. This depth provides lateral resistance to overturning… what your piers are likely doing. I presume insufficient depth of the piers is the source of this problem.

As for the posts, I can’t really recommend any acceptable tilt other than the tolerances in the bubble on a 4-foot level. I would presume that if the posts moved from vertical to tilted, then they’re likely to keep moving. That is a more significant issue than just a little angle on the post.

For the sake of discussion, a deck “could” be designed with a tremendous angle in the posts. For the sake of your deck, I would look at shoring it up and replacing the piers. If your posts are in good shape, you could even pour your piers a few inches higher than before; level the deck out nicely and then cut the posts back in at just the right height.

If your feeling up to it, grab a buddy or two, a weekend or two, and the right tools for the job, otherwise, take a look at our member directory and find a NADRA builder nearby. Either way… we wish you the best for you and your deck.

Thank you for contacting NADRA.

Glenn Mathewson
NADRA Technical Advisor

Ask NADRA: Deck Ventilation Requirements

April 30, 2011 | Ken from Orangeburg, SC asks:

“I am wondering is there a minimum height requirement for a
deck to allow for adequate ventilation under the deck. Is this
measured to the top or bottom of the decking timber?”

Glenn Mathewson, NADRA’s Technical Advisor, responds:

Hello Mr. Panitt.

Thank you for turning to NADRA with your questions about the Decking and Railing Industry. We are certainly happy to provide you guidance. The International Residential Code (IRC) and International Building Code (IBC) do not specifically regulate the ventilation of areas underneath exterior decks. IRC Section R408.1 describes the ventilation requirements for under floor spaces, including the minimum net free area, but it is in reference to areas under buildings that are enclosed by foundation walls. While it would certainly be good practice to maintain moisture control under decks that are very low to the ground, its not part of the minimum standard set forth by the IRC. However, in the case of manufactured decking or other products, the installation requirements of the manufacturer are essentially part of the code. This may be from a direct reference to, such as section R317.4.1 in the 09 IRC for wood/plastic composites or through approval as an “alternative”.
I know at least two prominent tongue-and-groove composite decking products that require a minimum height above grade to make up for the lack of air flow between the boards. In both cases the distance was 12 inches of vertical space beneath the bottom of the framing, though the percentage of perimeter where it was required varied. You must always adhere to manufacturer’s installation instructions, not only for good practice, but also for code compliance.
For spaced deck boards, the gaps would likely suffice for ventilation. They may be narrow, but they’re evenly dispersed. One thing to consider, however, is the size of the gaps and the material used. If swelling of wood, expansion of thermoplastics, proximity to heavy autumn leaf fall, long snow coverage or poor maintenance/cleaning is likely, the gaps may close. In that case, additional ventilation openings or greater clearance to grade would be a good plan.

I hope this information is of assistance to you and the visitors of the NADRA blog.

Sincerely,

Glenn Mathewson, MCP

Ask NADRA: Is Fungus Destroying CCA Wood?

April 30, 2011 | Wallace from Midway, GA asks:

“[What do I] need to know about fungus destroying CCA lumber?”\

Huck DeVenzio of Arch Wood Protection Reponds:

From your question and e-mail address, I’d guess that you have heard reports from a guy (Sam Brooks) saying that there is a strange fungus destroying CCA-treated wood in coastal areas. He says his company has a solution.

I’m amazed that this non-story is getting as much attention as it has. From all we have been able to piece together, there is no strange and destructive fungus. The photos he shows involve an occasional condition called tracheid separation or salt-killed wood. It does not involve a fungus and it is not a failure of CCA preservative. It is caused by wicking of salt into some pieces of wood. A document (link provided below) published by experts at Mississippi State University is attached; it explains the phenomenon. This was written in March, largely to counteract the assertions appearing in the Charleston-Savannah area. I have another technical paper if you need more information.

This “salt kill” can cause problems for marine piling, but it tends to be scattered and it is not caused by fungi. I do not know anything about the solution offered by Mr. Brooks, but you have to be suspicious when he doesn’t even understand the cause of the problem.

Click here to read the report from Mississippi State University.

Ask NADRA: Preserved Wood For Wet Climate

April 26, 2011 | A concerned homeowner in British Columbia asks:

I have a 3-foot crawlspace which has a damp concrete floor whenever we get heavy rain. Consequently, the exterior pony walls carrying the fiberglass insulation are beginning to decay. Can I replace the pony walls with preserved wood and not put a finish cladding on it? Is there a toxicity factor here if the wall is not properly sealed? Timing and budget are not big factors here as much as having the job done right. Thank you.

Huck DeVenzio of Arch Wood Protection Reponds:

If you purchase properly treated wood (we, of course, recommend the Wolmanized brand) intended for ground contact, you can be confident that the wood will resist fungal decay for many decades, and you don’t have to be concerned with sealing or cladding. Treated wood has been used for years in Permanent Wood Foundations (made of treated studs and treated plywood), framing for all homes in Hawaii (where termites necessitate this), and for the sill plate of nearly all homes in North America. In all of those applications, many left unfinished, there is not a single known adverse health or environmental incident from the preservative in the wood.

Because of the dampness and your past problem, I would try to get wood treated for ground contact, even if most of the lumber will be above ground. That gives you an extra measure of security.

You can probably find properly treated wood at a lumber dealer near you. I hope this helps.

Ask NADRA: Deck Stair Lighting Codes

March 21, 2011 | Lainie Sleppin of Mid-State Lumber asks:

“I am getting a number of calls regarding the code on deck stair
lighting, no pun but can you shed any light on this code so I can
advise correctly. We are talking about guys in the NJ market.

Thanks for your help and have a great weekend.”

Glenn Mathewson, NADRA’s Technical Advisor, responds:

Hello Lainie,

Thanks for your confidence in NADRA, the voice of the decking industry, to be your “go to” when you need quality information on the decking and railing industry. I understand your contractor customers in the New York and New Jersey area have been asking questions lately about lighting at deck stairways. I am happy to provide you assistance in better understanding the requirements of the 2009 IRC in this regard. Many people I discuss this with are surprised that when you read Section R303.6 there are two requirements…one for the location of a lighting fixture, and one for the illumination of the stairway. They are not one in the same.

I have copied below the discussion from ICC’s deck code book, Deck Construction based on the 2009 IRC. Continue reading “Ask NADRA: Deck Stair Lighting Codes”