Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

Deck callback, all my miters opened up.

26669 129
...
1 - 20 of 130 Posts
Framing dried out and pulled everything with it.
Built a deck this year. All boards pre finished with messemers. Glued to and screwed to wood framing w/ titebond sub glue. All miter joints got a #20 biscuit w/ titebond 3.

Now the callback. All the joints opened the same way. Open at the long point only. (All of them!, except the 2x4 top rail) I can assure you all the miters were prom night tight when I left, and I revisited the deck 3 months after completion and it still looked great.

Now it looks like a hack job, I'm going to fix it:sad:, but what caused this? What happened here? Major headache. :sad: Anyone dealt with this before? I've had joints open here and there before, but never all of them!!!:censored::censored::censored::censored::censored::censored:!!!
Framing drying out, typically it would be a consistent gap. Not open on the long end of a miter.

Looks more of a deck board shrinkage issue. Maybe a little too green when installed, maybe winter time dryness, maybe both.
Im always disappointed when I see my decks a few years later and they look like that
Looks like framing dried out and the boards are too tight at the joint. They are pushing against each other and out of perpendicular corner....or maybe the boards have expanded "widthwise" giving the same result (out of 90 corner).
Framing drying out, typically it would be a consistent gap. Not open on the long end of a miter.

Looks more of a deck board shrinkage issue. Maybe a little too green when installed, maybe winter time dryness, maybe both.
In your case wood picked up moisture & grew in plank width after install.
There's nothing you can do to prevent this! It's wood, & it's seasonal!

Around here it's always the reverse...the short point of cut opens up because lumber (mostly pt) is wet when installed. It's mostly about the change in plank width.
Depending how it's fastened, I would be tempted to pull up one side of the corner at a time, backcut with a multitool, and finish with a block plane. Not for the faint of heart. Or sink an e-cut blade into the corner, using a 45 degree jig to keep it true.

Edit: Forget this. Backcutting would be dumb.
That would do it.
Perhaps the decking was too dry?
Shorten the edge boards a bit? Or run a Fein blade through the joint, using a guide? What do you think?
  • Like
Reactions: totes
Do you mean glued to the framing or glued to each other? I always glue and screw the miters to each other but use very little fasteners to the frame. I also leave room for shrinkage, meaning when the boards shrink, they have somewhere to go. Try and picture your boards floating over the wood frame. If your fasteners are stronger at the deck framing than they are at the miters, then your miter will be the first thing to open up as soon as the boards shrink.
Built a deck this year. All boards pre finished with messemers. Glued to and screwed to wood framing w/ titebond sub glue. All miter joints got a #20 biscuit w/ titebond 3.
  • Like
Reactions: aptpupil
For future reference, you can also get out of that problem by avoiding that design all together. Looks like you set your rail posts to the inside of the frame. It leaves that miter pretty visible especially since it's by the stairs.

I do it like this, there's still a miter but it won't be visible even if there is shrinkage.
  • Like
Reactions: Rio
I'd brag to the customer about how what with all that rain the miters only opened up 1/32 of an inch. That's true craftsmanship!
You can redo it, but what will you do when that wood dries out a little and the inside of the mitre opens up? I understand wanting perfection, but fine antiques, and Steinway pianos, and floors, and everything else made of wood, moves. It's a deck.
In your case wood picked up moisture & grew in plank width after install.
There's nothing you can do to prevent this! It's wood, & it's seasonal!

Around here it's always the reverse...the short point of cut opens up because lumber (mostly pt) is wet when installed. It's mostly about the change in plank width.
Yeah, those miters don't look that bad. I'd tell the customer I could replace some of those boards but probably the same thing will happen as the wood expands and contracts from the weather.
I'd brag to the customer about how what with all that rain the miters only opened up 1/32 of an inch. That's true craftsmanship!
You can redo it, but what will you do when that wood dries out a little and the inside of the mitre opens up? I understand wanting perfection, but fine antiques, and Steinway pianos, and floors, and everything else made of wood, moves. It's a deck.
Plus all that stuff stays inside in a controlled climate. This is exterior. Things move. I'd give the client a high five at how well its held considering the climate.
Or I'm sure one of the festool junkies will tell you that you should have used a domino. Haha
CarpenterSFO said:
I'd brag to the customer about how what with all that rain the miters only opened up 1/32 of an inch. That's true craftsmanship!
You can redo it, but what will you do when that wood dries out a little and the inside of the mitre opens up? I understand wanting perfection, but fine antiques, and Steinway pianos, and floors, and everything else made of wood, moves. It's a deck.
I'd cut them open and round over the edges.

Tom
Good aesthetic solution, as long as losing the biscuit isn't going to make things spring more. That's hoping that the biscuit isn't wicking water into the ends, too.
I'd cut them open and round over the edges.

Tom
I'm kind of amazed everybody doesn't know that this is the only right answer.
In your case wood picked up moisture & grew in plank width after install.
There's nothing you can do to prevent this! It's wood, & it's seasonal!

Around here it's always the reverse...the short point of cut opens up because lumber (mostly pt) is wet when installed. It's mostly about the change in plank width.
I have.......

Or I'm sure one of the festool junkies will tell you that you should have used a domino. Haha
This is exterior. Things move.
1 - 20 of 130 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top