Why a Deck Joist Flashing Tape Is a Must-Have for Homeowners

One of the most fulfilling achievements as a homeowner is creating a relaxing outdoor area for your family to spend time together doing a variety of activities. Building a deck is a very great investment for this. And just like any investment, detailed planning and wise use of resources are needed in order to make it last in the long run.

There are numerous aspects to consider in any home renovation work. And for making a new deck, the to-do list can easily become overwhelming. As a result, it’s normal for homeowners to ask if something as little as a deck joist flashing tape is actually required. The quick answer is YES, and this article will explain why.

What Is a Deck Joist Flashing Tape

Deck joist flashing tape is a water-resistant adhesive that prevents decay-causing elements from infiltrating the framing of your deck. It’s easy to use as it’s only peel-and-stick.

It’s watertight, airtight, and smoke-tight. It also features a simple release. It has UV resistance and is self-sealing. Because it’s put as a cap right on top of crucial locations, like joists and beams, it allows good air circulation in the wooden substructure.

Below are the three varieties of joist tape available.

  • Acrylic
  • Butyl
  • Bitumen

Why It’s Necessary

Building something out of wood, especially for outdoor uses, exposes it to a lot of risks. Even if it’s made of treated or solid wood like ipe, a wood deck will eventually succumb to mildew, rot, and mold.

Because of its low cost and wide availability, pressure-treated timber is used to construct the majority of residential decks in many countries. While this material is more durable than others and more resistant to certain elements such as termites, it is still only wood. It will not be immune to decay.

That is why using wood alone for your deck structure won’t be enough. A supporting component is needed. And that’s where deck joist flashing tape comes in. It’s a thin, water-resistant sealant that forms an impenetrable barrier against air, water, and moisture absorption.

The most notable benefits of using a flashing tape for your deck include the following.

  • Rot and moisture protection
  • Tougher deck hardware
  • Prolonged deck lifespan
  • Cost-efficiency

How It Prevents Rot and Moisture

Flashing tape acts as a protective coating on top of the deck substructure. It lets the wood deck framing breathe on three sides while acting as a shield on the top, where humidity and water tend to concentrate. It also makes a repelling layer of protection that stops moisture from entering the wood framing through the screw holes and apertures of conventional building equipment.

Deck tapes can also be sealed around the attachment point. This is commonly a weak spot on a deck substructure, making it more susceptible to moisture penetration and rot. Standing water can cause deck substructures to fail in different areas, including under deck boards, post ground level, and at frame abutments. Deck tape can be used to create a protective barrier in all of these places.

How It Can Reinforce Deck Hardware

Another advantage of using flashing tape on your deck is that it makes the fastener-to-wood bond for your structural deck hardware more durable and long-lasting.

The joist tape helps hold and lock the fastener in place for a more secure, sturdy grip by providing an additional adhesive layer for the deck screw to drive in. With enhanced durability, the life expectancy of a deck will consequently increase.

How Much It Can Extend a Deck’s Lifespan

The majority of a deck’s substructure begins to break and rot after 8 to 10 years. On the other hand, you can attach a flashing tape in deck joists, rim joists, stringers, ledger boards, and other parts to last for several decades.

Generally, the length of time this protection lasts depends on the manufacturer. However, some trusted brands offer a 50-year permanent adhesive bond and a 25-year warranty. This kind of guarantee is what you would want in a long-term investment.

Why It’s Cost-Efficient

Investing in a deck can be a bit expensive. For a 400-square-foot deck, composite decking costs between approximately £8,800 to £17,600 ($12,000 – $24,000) , while wood decking costs about £7,300 to £12,400 ($10,000 – $17,000). With these prices, it’s only reasonable to use materials that would save you more money.

Aside from the fact that it’s built to last, a deck joist flashing tape can also save you money on maintenance and replacement expenditures in the future. To save more, you will also need to know what to look for when shopping for a deck tape.

What to Look For in a Deck Tape

1) Price

You’re looking for a joist tape that is both inexpensive and of good quality. Keep in mind that this is your deck substructure’s insurance policy, so while you don’t want to go overboard on joist tape, you also don’t want to compromise on integrity to save a few dollars.

2) Material

For quality, the material is what you look into. Non-butyl types are recommended by many because they are UV stable, have a longer shelf life, and can withstand temperatures ranging from -40 to +93 degrees Celsius without cracking, peeling, or losing strength.

3) Thickness

The joist tape you choose should fit on the deck planks perfectly. It’s tricky to apply tape that’s too thick since it needs to be trimmed. And tape that is too thin may not hold up over time. So you need to find the thickness that is just right.

4) Installation Convenience

Besides thickness that requires minimal trimming, any contractor or DIY builder will advise you to purchase a tape that is simple to install. A self-adhesive tape that is applied directly to the boards demands minimal cuts and overlap will be a great choice.

5) Reputation

Another way to ensure quality is by checking the brand and its reputation. See what others have to say about them. You can do this by visiting their website and reading online reviews about them.