How can a freeze affect your deck?

Every year in Austin, there is a rain and freeze cycle that greatly affects many old and new deck structures. Water becomes planted into the wood and a sudden freeze will cause the water to expand. On an older structure, this water can penetrate deeper into the grain and upon freezing this can cause a significant fracture in the structure.

You might notice in the Spring, after a significant freeze event, there will be a fungal growth on the underside of deck boards and joists. This is caused by the stress cracks allowing spores to enter more deeply into the wood. The older wood also contains less ACQ (Alkaline Copper Quaternary) which is the chemical used in the pressure treating process.

What can you do?

It is possible to do an ACQ treatment which will help some of the surface cracks, however, it will not be applied under pressure and it can only go into cracks the same as water. If your wood structure has remained waterlogged for an extended period, the moisture will penetrate deeper than with an ACQ application.

If you notice that there is extra damage to your structure this year, please reach out for an evaluation and start a plan for repairs.

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