composite decking over existing framing on deck

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  • composite decking over existing framing on deck

    I have a cedar deck that I'm thinking about revamping with composite deck flooring. The deck itself is about 8 years old and is red cedar with normal PT framing. I hate to get rid of the cedar, but living in MN, it is honestly, too much of a pain to keep up with the winters. I end up sanding the entire deck with a floor sander about every other year and staining it every year just to keep it looking halfway normal. I have been using TPW products which seem to get the best reviews around. I have tried Siikens, Behr, and Cabot as well (stripping to bare wood each time) and none of them seem to last more than a year at best. I'm just tired of spending 5-6 days every spring trying to stay ahead of hit. Plus, getting a 5-6 day block of good weather isn't always the easiest when you factor I'm limited to weekends.

    My question is do you think I would be ok just removing the existing cedar and replacing with a composite for the flooring? Structurally, the deck is sound. It is above a walkout basement so that could pose a challenge I guess from a working standpoint.

    I could live with doing the rails as the vertical surfaces don't seem to take as much punishment from the elements.

    Thank you

  • #2
    I don't think there would be an issue with removing and replacing the decking. From a working standpoint, if you remove a few rows and add a few new, rather than ripping off all the decking at once, it would make it easier and safer to do the work. You also wouldn't need to worry about the deck coming out of square if all the decking is removed at once.

    You might also try one of the new products like Behr Deck Over or Rustoleum Deck Renew which is an epoxy coating. You may not like the look of that vs composite decking though. From a selfish standpoint I'd like to know how well it works since I'm in the same position.
    An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
    A moral man does it.


    • #3
      Twistol- I hadn't thought about the deck coming out of square, but it certainly could I suppose. We've looked at the deck products you've mentioned, but we aren't big fans. I love the look of Cedar, but as I said, the maintenance is getting to be too much from a time standpoint. Physically, it's tedious, but time is the killer.

      I don't know much about the rustoleum products (I did epoxy coat my garage floor and it's been ok (just barely---they didn't put a vapor barrier down when the poured the floor and now I have chunks blowing out) but I have only had bad issues with Behr products of any kind (indoor paint, outdoor paint, deck prep, etc). I just haven't found them to be of much quality when I have used them.


      • #4
        AFAIK some composite decking material needs closer-spaced joists then natural wood, be sure to check on that.


        • #5
          I did exactly what you are contemplating several years ago on two different decks.

          I used TREX on one and a cheaper product on the other.

          The TREX deck has done perfect. The cheaper product has too much flex.

          The substructure in both cases has been fine.

          Via Tapatalk-- Bade

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          • #6
            If you have ever contemplated installing " dry below" type of rain guard under your deck for the walk out basement now is the time to do it. It's WAY easier to do when you can remove some of the decking to attach and fit the roofing pieces. This way it is easier to fit your own roofing pieces of your choice rather than buy a custom product designed for fitting after the fact.


            • #7
              As far as it popping out of square, some diagonal braces underneath would fix that. In fact when we built our deck we were required to put those on to prevent lateral racking.

              Composite is a pretty big investment, so make sure your PT framing is in like-new condition. PT decks are good for about 20-25 years so you're 1/3 or more through that lifespan.