Are you considering building your decking but are wondering when the best time is to do it? Perhaps you live in a colder, wetter climate and are wondering if it’s safe to power on, or should you wait for those few dry days a year?
Maybe you have had trouble getting a professional around, have resigned yourself to doing the work yourself, and now have no idea where to begin?
No matter your situation, we bet you have wondered if you can construct your deck in the rain and what any effects of this could be. The thoughts can plague you, interrupt your sleep, and make the task of building your decking seem monumental.
The last thing you want to do is build a decking that won’t last or be unsafe to use. So let’s put your worries to bed once and for all! Today we will walk you through whether it’s ok to build a deck in the rain or not and any effects the rain can have on decking.
Keep reading for all the answers you need, and start building your decking today!
Is It Ok To Build A Deck In The Rain?
While you could build your deck in the rain if you wanted to or had no choice, it’s best not to build a deck in the rain. Not only will the task at hand become more difficult in the rain, but it can also damage your decking and leave you with long-term complications or even unusable decking!
We will get into all the effects rain has on the decking in a moment, so be sure to keep reading! A decking should ideally have a dry underneath when building. It prevents water from pooling, giving off odors, or causing mold and mildew to spread. A dry and clean starting point will make your job easier and is what the professionals recommend.
It’s also important that you have dry weather a few days after the decking has been constructed. You will want dry weather to ensure that your paint or any treatment you apply has a chance to dry thoroughly. It increases the effectiveness of any treatment and prevents your wood from any mold, mildew, or wood rot down the line.
Professionally recommend that you have dry weather to construct and treat your decking. Avoid extreme heat or cold temperatures as these aren’t pleasant to work in, and instead, construct your decking on cooler, dry days for the most success.
What Are The Effects On Decking Built In The Rain?
Decking built in the rain or exposed to the rain can rot if it’s not treated correctly! The rainwater can enter the pores of your decking, allowing moisture to build, which can be detrimental to your wood. If the wood in your decking has a moisture content of 20% or over, then wood rot can occur.
For this to happen, the wood in your decking would need to remain damp and wet at all times. If you have built your decking in the rain, potentially untreated wood will be permanently exposed to the rain and moisture, causing it to rot.
The process won’t happen overnight, but you could see mold growth in as little as 48 hours! Mold spores might appear across your beams and the underneath of your decking too.
Wood rot can make your decking unsafe to walk on and will need to be replaced. You might notice that your decking feels uneven, that the wood seems weak, or it might even give way when you stand on it!
Keep an eye out for wood that feels damp and is splitting or breaking. These are usually signs of advanced wood rot caused by moisture entering the pores of your decking.
Water pooling on your decking is another sign of wood rot and an effect of building your decking in the rain. Instead of the water draining away, it will remain on the surface of your decking, making it slippery to walk across. In the winter, or for those living in colder climates, this pooled water will turn to ice, making your decking hazardous and unusable.
The weight of pooled water, ice, or even snow can damage the decking further and will not allow the decking to dry fully. Instead, the water will be absorbed into the already damaged wood, making your decking even more unsafe!
You might also notice that the wood has warped, again making your decking unsafe to walk on. Warped decking can be extremely dangerous to walk on or use.
The wood will have to be replaced, and usually, there is no saving or repurposing it. If your decking has warped wood on it, you should avoid using it until you can have the wood replaced.
Decking built in the rain is likely not to be dry or have appropriate time to dry. It impacts any treatments that you put on the wood once the decking has been laid. Instead of the wood’s pores absorbing any treatments, they will fill with water.
Applying a treatment to the wood before it has a chance to dry from the rain means it won’t work properly, leaving your wood untreated and exposed to the elements.
The rain can also cause any treatment or paint applied to your decking to spot, leaving you with an uneven paint job. Compared to the other issues that can occur, this is a best-case scenario, but you want to avoid all the same!
The rain will remove the paint or stain in places, leaving you with spots over your decking. These spots will become untreated or unpainted areas, exposed to the elements, which can, over time, damage your decking. Ensure there is plenty of time for your wood and its treatments, paints, or stains to dry to prevent this.
As you can see, building your decking in the rain can have some nasty consequences for your wood! Try to build it when the weather is dry and allow plenty of time for any treatments to dry without the rain undoing your hard work too!