So what went wrong with this ipe deck?
Last week I visited a friend who about three years ago had PT decking around his inground pool ripped up and replaced with ipe. I don't know the thickness, but it was screwed down with what appear to be stainless trim head screws. He didn't mention anything but all I can say is I'd be PISSED if this was my deck. The boards are all cupped either up or down and they all feel loose when walking on them, whether on top of the joists or between them. Squeak squeak squeak accompanies the looseness. I think there are multiple factors at work. I'm listing them below and perhaps some experienced people could comment on each and potentially save someone else some agony. By the way, this job was done by an established contractor in an area where a $1MM house, if you're lucky enough to find one, would be considered entry level.
- Deck is basically at grade, just high enough to get some framework up. Ventilation an eventual issue if not the cause of the problems?
- Unknown age of the PT support structure, maybe 15 years? Could it be that it's not "fresh" enough to hold the screws well?
- 16" joists, decking run 45 deg. Whether or not this is an issue I don't know, because the boards are obviously floating higher than, an bouncing down onto, the joists themselves.
- Being around a pool this gets a lot of water. He got sick of "oiling" several times a year (not sure what product) so he's letting it silver which blends well with his grey house. Mistake in such a wet environment?
And a question - Can the loose boards be tightened down at this point or would the risk of snapping the screws be too great?