Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Fixing the deck

Fixing the deckShown is a close up of a section of my deck, at the stern of Lady Jane.

What you see is some of the result of this last, very cold for us here in the UK, winter on Lady Jane's deck.

What has happened, I think, is that the water in the wood on deck has expanded when the deck froze, forcing the caulking out from between the planks.

Elsewhere on deck, the wood itself has deteriorated even more. Especially where the wood is rotten.

Dealing with the deck for once and for all is becoming a priority. The last thing I need is for the underlying steel to rust through, giving me the headache of holes through to the various compartments below.

We are talking masses of wood here. Each of those planks is at least 3 inches (7.5cm) thick, while the deck itself is made from hundreds of these planks.

The trouble is, I don't really know how to go about this at the moment.

18 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:40 PM

    I'm curious how the wood decking is held down. Are there studs welded to the steel decking underneath or something?

    I can picture lifting the decking in sections, rust-busting, grinding patching and tarring. Maybe run a plane over the top surface of each piece and re-treat with creosote -- or whatever passes for a wood preservative these days. Then lay the section back in and re-caulk, finally moving to an adjacent section.


    If you take a notion to actually replace much of the wood, you will have a very expensive job on your hands. You would want to make friends with someone who operates a wood-mizer or something.

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  2. You could always just go for a steel deck ,and then add the timber back at your leisure

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  3. Just another thought ,maybe you could turn the timber upside down and recaulk with sikoflex or whatever it is called.

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  4. Hi Anonymous

    Yes, the timber is held in place with studs which I assume are welded onto the deck.

    I suspect these are not going to come undone willingly.

    Doing the deck is sections is probably the only sensible option.

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  5. Hi Andrew

    The issue of a steel deck is one of height of the deck. Leaving it as a steel deck will mean water will collect in the 3 inch space the wood will leave.

    Not ideal long term.

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  6. In terms of the rotten wood, my suspicion is that the planks will need replacement, as once rot sets in that's pretty much it for the plank.

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  7. Hi Tim Water must be prevented from getting into the wood joints (not so much the fabric of the wood itself) for the very reasons you mentioned, frost and ice and sea water damage to the deck, so a sickaflex (cheaper version from a company in Waterlooville near to you )is needed possibly.

    Where there are splits in individual planks a feather must be cut and driven in, after the split faces are cleaned up and epoxy glue used to secure it. Where the rot is bad the planks must be progressively removed and replaced (no big deal as you can always weld on new studs to the deck. our old friend Mr Bitumen can be used to liberally coat the decks before replacing the planks to both surfaces wood as well, prime the decks first though and treat the planks well with antifungicide too, Creosote is cheap but oily (orodichlorobenzine I think) clear preservative is better and dries nicely and shouldn`t attack the bitumen whereas creosote might?

    It is amazing what a floor sander will show up, after a days sanding and I would hire one for a weekend just to clean up an area of what you believe to be "good " deck I would think that the decks on LJ are pine/spruce of some sort, so will clean up well. Its a "nose bleedin" sort of job! Better done well, possibly piecemeal as the mood,finances and need dictates. Given that the planks are 3" in depth you might consider caulking the joints "proper" instead of the sickaflex option I mentioned firstly, where hokum is used to drive in between the planks and hot bitumen is puored into the cavity left above about usually 1/2". first you must draw the hokum from its wad and roll it into suitable sized rope (much like spinning wool) then it is driven down into the tapering space (with a caulking iron) between the planks so that it is tightly held and almost water tight on its own you should gather the "rope" so that you use as much as is needed to achieve this, it`s no good putting a 1/4 inch of loose rolled hokum into a 1" gap so "gather or pleat" up the Hokum rope as is needed. calking tools are still readily available as are caulking mallets. I`m sure that you will find something about it on the net. I used a roofing pot to melt the block bitumen the last time I did any (many many years ago)and these are available from most hire shops the bitumen comes in blocks, you will need a pouring bucket with a spout for accurate pouring and gloves and boots.

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  8. Tim,
    You might want to get a hold of this guy as he put down a new deck and caulked it.
    Look under November 23 2009 or there abouts. LOL

    http://bf494.co.uk/

    Bill Kelleher

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  9. A "killing field" Tim !
    Good Luck ! Your going to find
    lots of unexpected ....
    Good Luck !

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  10. Anonymous6:01 PM

    Would it be reasonable to do a half-way job on the decking -- take it up, treat the steel underneath and replace it -- but instead of caulking, install some sort of membrane system over top?

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  11. Hi Rob

    Thanks very much for that interesting and informative comment. I'll digest this & come up with a plan shortly.

    Obviously the voice of experience.

    Regards

    Tim

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  12. Hi Bill

    Very interesting, thanks for the link.

    I'll read up in it some more & maybe follow up with him.

    Regards

    Tim

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  13. Hi Ib

    What can possibly go wrong?

    Regards

    Tim

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  14. Hi Anonymous

    What would worry me about trying to put some kind of membrane on top would be keeping the water out.

    The deck is such a huge area, so I suspect keeping moisture out with some kind of membrane would be nearly impossible.

    Regards

    Tim

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  15. With regard to the decks they are a working surface in as much as they are fairly non slip except when wet in sea boots and take a fair amount of wear (in the past probably from hobnail boots)! sure there will be some wear and rot but this is a normal part of working an old lady such as her. Its like the palm of your hand a bit more capable of taking some abuse from work and needs to be taken care of, but not too much, enjoy her as well. do enough but not too much and as I said previously its a n"nose bleeding" job and better done in small sessions. probably easier to build a long deckhouse as with your friends boat in newfoundland. That will save you some worry about the deck :o)).

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  16. Hi Rob

    I'm still researching and learning.

    A plan of some sorts is emerging....

    Regards

    Tim

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  17. Hi Tim,

    Putting glass o similar on top will trap the water and make things worse... A friend of mine ended up with a deck that feels like a water-mattress when walked on!
    I guess removing the deck will be the only solution in the end. We normally go about that by locating the bolts and than running a saw through the deck at a right angle to the seems... Once you've found a start you'll probably get the small pieces off with a pry-bar...

    Keep up the good work, Greetings Gerben

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  18. Hi Gerben

    Thanks for that.

    I will definitely be avoiding sealing the deck. Research so far has shown this is not the answer.

    What is emerging is saving what I have, and only repairing the damaged sections where I need to.

    Regards

    Tim

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