run circular saw between boards to improve spacing???

jaansuMarch 20, 2013

I thought I was overly conservative on having my massaranduba decking spaced far enough apart to allow good ventilation, but the boards have expanded more than I hoped. Too many boards are either touching or too close for acceptable air movement.

Would it make sense to run a circular saw, with the depth guide set higher than the joists, along the tight fits to open them up again? I assume I would need to do some sanding on the top edge to reestablish the rounded corner. Anyone try this idea before?

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millworkman

In my book that is not a good idea at all. What did you use for spacing originally?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 7:51PM
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aidan_m

In another month, the deck will dry out from the hot spring sun, and the spaces will open back up.

I would try running a fan in the space below the deck on sunny days to help it dry out evenly.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 11:20AM
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millworkman

The other issue was were the ends sealed on the boards? If you were to narrow the boards up, the edges would all need to be sealed as well. Anytime you make a cut on one of these hardwood boards you need to make certain it is sealed.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 11:44AM
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jaansu

our area (eastern PA) doesn't really dry up that much in summer. More humid actually. I looked into some sort of fan installation before i put in the new wood but I couldn't find anything meant for outdoor use. Instead I releveled the ground underneath to prevent the lake that used to form.

The board ends were all sealed and I can easily seal the sides of the boards with a small brush if the saw does take off some of the edge.

I don't like the idea of using a saw's kerf to do what should have been done initially but it is much too late to cry over it now. My main question is if anyone has tried this before.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 11:15PM
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millworkman

Good ventilation is required for the bottom and sides as well if the deck is too close to the grade what your trying to do will really be of no help either. You need AIRFLOW not just spacing between the boards.

This post was edited by millworkman on Fri, Mar 22, 13 at 9:16

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 9:15AM
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jaansu

You're right, both are needed. I tried to improve airflow by removing unneeded boards from around the sides but since the deck is surrounded on three sides by the house, air flow is still poor. Increasing the spacing between the boards is the best means to further improve the air flow since warm air rises, taking water vapor with it. I was considering actually raising the board next to the house a couple inches to provide more free area.

Millworkman, you said you didn't like the idea. If I sealed the cut edges, is there anything else you see that could be a negative?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 10:58AM
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millworkman

A) you will never get the cut to look correct as the boards have a machined radius and the gaps will not end up even. B) you will not get the sealer applied well with the boards attached to the deck. So in my honest opinion it will look like ass and probably not hold up well at all. Suck it up and do it right!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 9:48AM
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