CONTACT US FOR A FREE ESTIMATE

Main Line

866-836-7663 (Main Line)

Tag: decks md

Can Pressure Treated Wood Rot?

When trees are cut for construction lumber, any of the wood that is to be used outside in the elements must be pressure treated. Without this special anti-corrosive treatment, wood will rot and will be consumed by insects and other animals.

How is Wood Pressure Treated?

Pressure Treated Wood

To pressure treat wood, lumber is placed into a pressure tank and sealed. Air is then extracted from the wood in a vacuum process, and a chemical solution is added. This solution – made up of copper, chromium, and arsenic – penetrates deep into the wood under pressure in the tank. Each chemical performs its own duty in stopping decay. Copper is a fungicide, chromium is a bactericide, and arsenic is an insecticide. When treated properly, this process should keep wood safe from decay for many years.

Is It Possible for Wood Decking to Rot?

While the pressure treatment process generally works well, it is not effective 100% of the time. There are a few factors that could cause even fairly new pressure treated wood to rot. Let’s explore…

Defective Chemicals

There are occasions when the chemicals used in the treatment process are defective. Because each chemical performs a specific function, if one or more are defective, rot can begin to occur. Or, if the chemical cocktail was not properly mixed, the solution could also be defective. 

Gauge Malfunctions

During the treatment process, wood is put under pressure so that the chemicals penetrate the wood completely. At the treatment plant, if a pressure gauge malfunctions, it is possible that the tank does not reach maximum pressure. If this happens, the wood may not fully absorb the chemicals.

Cracks Leading to the Inner Portions of Wood

It is not uncommon for pressure treated wood to develop cracks. In the construction process, holes must be drilled to attach the wood to its foundation. In warm weather wood expands, and in cold weather it contracts. This, along with foot traffic on decks, creates constant back-and-forth pressure on screws and nails. Over time, cracks can develop, allowing moisture to seep into the wood. If the chemicals deep within the wood are not present, or are scarcely present, this moisture can begin to rot the wood.

How Can I Tell if My Deck is Rotting?

Rot in Deck WoodCracks and wood rot do not always go hand-in-hand. While you need to keep an eye on cracks, if the wood was properly treated, having cracks doesn’t always lead to rot. However, if you notice wood that is splintering, or is soft when you press on it, you might be experiencing rot. It is best to have a professional take a look and determine whether replacement is necessary.

What Do I Do if I See Rotting on My Deck?

If you do see signs of rot, it is recommended that the damaged wood be replaced as soon as possible. Chances are that it’s not your entire deck that is effected. Replacing the boards that do show signs of rot will help your deck last longer.

With proper care, your pressure treated wood deck should last between 10 and 30 years. However, this life span is only possible when conditions are not extreme, and when you clean and seal your deck regularly. Decks left unsealed will have a shorter life span.

 

read more

Hiring the Right Maryland Home Improvement Contractor

S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows has served Maryland homeowners since 1980. As a contractor in MD who upholds strict standards for quality and workmanship, we encourage you to do your homework before hiring us or any other Maryland contractor. In this article, we provide helpful information hiring the right Maryland home improvement contractor for your project.

When it comes to hiring the right Maryland home improvement contractor, it is wise to interview each contractor you’re considering. Here are some questions to ask.

How long have you been in business in Maryland?
Look for a well-established company and check it out with consumer protection officials. They can tell you if there are unresolved consumer complaints on file. One caveat: No record of complaints against a particular contractor doesn’t necessarily mean no previous consumer problems. It may be that problems exist, but have not yet been reported, or that the window contractor is doing business under several different names.

Are you licensed and registered with the state of Maryland?
While most states license electrical and plumbing contractors, only 36 states have some type of licensing and registration statutes affecting contractors, remodelers, and/or specialty contractors. The licensing can range from simple registration to a detailed qualification process. Also, the licensing requirements in one locality maybe different from the requirements in the rest of the state. Check with your local building department or consumer protection agency to find out about licensing requirements in your area. If your state has licensing laws, ask to see the contractor’s license. Make sure it’s current. S&K holds Maryland home improvement license #21080.

How many projects like mine have you completed on Maryland homes the last year?
Ask for a list. This will help you determine how familiar the contractor is with your type of project.

Will my project require a permit?
Most states, like Maryland, and localities require permits for building projects, even for simple jobs like decks. A competent contractor will get all the necessary permits before starting work on your project. Be suspicious if the contractor asks you to get the permit(s). It could mean that the contractor is not licensed or registered, as required by your state or locality.

May I have a list of Maryland references?
The window contractor should be able to give you the names and addresses of at least three clients who have projects similar to yours. Ask each how long ago the project was completed and if you can see it.

What types of insurance do you carry in MD?
Window contractors should have personal liability, worker’s compensation, and property damage coverage. Ask for copies of insurance certificates, and make sure they’re current. Avoid doing business with contractors who don’t carry the appropriate insurance. Otherwise, you’ll be held liable for any injuries and damages that occur during the project.

Getting a Written Contract
Contract requirements vary by state. Even if your state does not require a written agreement, ask for one. A contract spells out the who, what, where, when and cost of your project. The agreement should be clear, concise and complete.

Before you sign a contract, make sure it contains:

1. The contractor’s name, address, phone, and license number, if required.

2. The payment schedule for the contractor, subcontractors and suppliers.

3. An estimated start and completion date.

4. The window contractor’s obligation to obtain all necessary permits.

5. How change orders will be handled. A change order — common on most remodeling jobs — is a written authorization to the contractor to make a change or addition to the work described in the original contract. It could affect the project’s cost and schedule. Remodelers often require payment for change orders before work begins. A detailed list of all materials including color, model, size, brand name, and product.

6. Warranties covering materials and workmanship. The names and addresses of the parties honoring the warranties — contractor, distributor or manufacturer — must be identified. The length of the warranty period and any limitations also should be spelled out.

7. What the window contractor will and will not do. For example, is site clean-up and trash hauling included in the price? Make sure the contractor is responsible for all clean-up work, including spills and stains.

Oral promises also should be added to the written contract.

A written statement of your right to cancel the contract within three business days if you signed it in your home or at a location other than the seller’s permanent place of business. During the sales transaction, the salesperson (contractor) should give you two copies of your contract or receipt. The contract or receipt must be dated, show the name and address of the seller, and explain your right to cancel.

Completing the Job: A ChecklistBefore you sign off and make the final payment, use this checklist to make sure the job is complete. Check that:

1. All work meets the standards spelled out in the contract.

2. You have written warranties for materials and workmanship.

3. The job site has been cleaned up and cleared of excess materials, tools and equipment.

4. You have inspected and approved the completed work.

Where to Complain
If you have a problem with your replacement windows project, first try to resolve it with the window contractor. Many disputes can be resolved at this level. Good window contractors will have a reputation that they wish to protect and will work with you to find a solution. Follow any phone conversations with a letter you send by certified mail. Request a return receipt. That’s your proof that the company received your letter. Keep a copy for your files. If you can’t get satisfaction, consider contacting the following organizations for further information and help:

– State and local consumer protection offices.

– Your state or local Builders Association and/or Remodelers Council.

– The Maryland Better Business Bureau.

– Action line and consumer reporters. Check with your local newspaper, TV, and radio stations for contacts.

– Local dispute resolution programs.

About S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows
S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows is Maryland’s trusted leader in roofing and maintenance-free home exteriors. Since 1980, S&K has done work on more than 50,000 homes in Maryland. Our MD services include:

Visit our website at www.skroofing.com for comphrensive information or call us at 866-836-7663.

For More Information

Federal Trade Commission: www.ftc.gov

National Association of Home Builders Remodelers™ Council: www.nahb.com

Source: www.ftc.gov

read more