“Joist Tape: Unraveling Its Key Benefits and Associated Costs for Deck Building”

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​When it comes to building a deck that stands the test of time, it’s not just about the choice of Composite or the design – it’s also about the small yet crucial details that often go unnoticed. One such detail that deserves more attention in deck construction is joist tape. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of joist tape, its benefits, and whether you should consider using it in your next deck-building project.

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The Protective Shield
Joist tape, also known as flashing tape or deck tape, is a thin, self-adhesive material that is applied to the top of joists, beams, and rim joists during deck construction. Its primary purpose is to act as a protective shield, safeguarding your deck’s substructure from various threats that can compromise its integrity.
1. Protection from Rot and Decay
One of the most significant advantages of joist tape is its ability to protect the top of joists, beams, and rim joists from developing rot and wood decay. These components are the backbone of your deck, and without proper protection, they can deteriorate over time due to exposure to moisture.
2. Enhanced Screw Holding Power
Joist tape is typically made from a butyl-based material, which offers superior adhesion and durability compared to alternatives like acrylic or asphalt-based tape. This means that it helps deck screws hold longer and stronger, reducing the likelihood of loose boards or structural instability over time.
3. Barrier Against Metal Corrosion
Decks often incorporate galvanized metal components like joist hangers. Joist tape acts as a barrier between the wood and these metal elements, preventing the corrosion that can occur when dissimilar materials come into contact with each other. This ensures the longevity of both the wood and the metal components.
4. Moisture Prevention
Water is the enemy of wood. Joist tape creates a watertight seal that prevents moisture from penetrating the wood, thereby reducing the risk of swelling, warping, and decay. This is particularly important in regions with high humidity or frequent rain.
5. Freeze and Thaw Protection
In regions where the temperature fluctuates dramatically, freeze and thaw cycles can cause wood to split and crack. Joist tape helps eliminate these issues by providing a protective layer that minimizes the impact of temperature variations.
6. Safety During Installation
During deck installation, joist tape offers a non-skid surface, making it safer for builders to work on. It reduces the risk of slips and falls, ensuring a smoother and more secure construction process.
7. Versatile Sizing
Joist tape is available in various widths to suit different components of your deck. You can find tape for joists, double beams, and rim joists, ensuring that all critical areas are adequately protected.
8. Warranty Assurance
Investing in joist tape often comes with the added benefit of peace of mind. Many reputable brands offer joist tape backed by a 25-year warranty, demonstrating their confidence in the product’s durability and performance.
The Cost Consideration
Now that we’ve explored the numerous benefits of joist tape, you might be wondering about the added cost to your deck-building project. While it’s true that joist tape is an additional expense, it’s essential to view it as an investment in the longevity and structural integrity of your deck.
The cost of joist tape can vary depending on the brand, type, and quantity you require for your project. On average, it can range from a few cents to a few dollars per linear foot. While this may seem like a small expense in comparison to the overall cost of building a deck, it can pay off significantly in the long run by extending the lifespan of your deck and reducing maintenance and repair costs.
In conclusion, joist tape is a small but powerful addition to any deck construction project. It offers protection against rot, enhances screw holding power, prevents moisture damage, and provides several other benefits that can significantly prolong the life of your deck. When considering the cost, remember that it’s an investment in the durability and longevity of your outdoor space. So, when you embark on your next deck-building adventure, don’t overlook the unsung hero – joist tape. Your deck will thank you for it in the years to come.