Deck assembled with nails

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In north or south carolina over the weekend, the deck, at a rental vacation house, I think, collapsed with 24 people on it, falling 10 feet. 4 still in the hospital, 2 of them in critical condition, as of a day or two ago.
The news says "rusty nails".
Wouldn't staiinless steel screws been the right thing to use on an ocean-front property? Or galvanized screws if there are such things?
Do people properly use nails for decks? If they had used galvanized nails,how long before the salt air rusts them? Or does rusty imply that they were not galvaniized?
And finally, what does salt air mean? The sodium and the chlorine are both floating in the air? Seems hard to believe, but when I had a salt-water aquarium, salt would pile up outside the glass, all the way from the top to the bottom of the 10 gallon aquarium iirc. The water never splashed or overflowed so how did the salt get outside the aquarium?
A friend took me sailing, and I woudn't take my new, good camera out of its bag while on the sea because I didnt want the salt air to damage it, but I know other people use their cameras on salt-water boats. Don't they risk damage? He was annoyed at me, because he wanted me taking pictures of him in his captatin's cap etc.
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wrote:

Salt water laughs at galvanized nails. Even the heavily coated "hot dipped" nails will not last very long (in the building sense). I suspect there was also a design flaw. Nails should never be load bearing. You should have wood sitting on top of wood with the nails only providing lateral support. Deck boards sit on joists that sit on beams that sit on footings.

that gets on everything. I do think some salt may be carried in water vapor but I am not sure exactly how. I do know my house is 3-4 miles from the gulf on a brackish river (ranges from 3 to 28 PPT) and things rust a lot faster than they would if I was completely away from the water.

I keep my camera in a zip bag unless I am actually taking pictures and I put it right back. It is also not that expensive a camera.
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If I understood previous discussions correctly, nails are as strong or stronger than screws. Screws are always preferred if something will need to be removed and replaced, otherwise nails (if the right type) are preferred.
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On Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 4:42:07 PM UTC-4, TimR wrote:

only non magnetic screws or nails should be used with newer treated wood, or in salt environments.
perhaps building codes need to be changed to prohibit wood decks.
moving to concrete type decks which cost more but last far longer
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| If I understood previous discussions correctly, nails are as strong or stronger than screws. Screws are always preferred if something will need to be removed and replaced, otherwise nails (if the right type) are preferred.
Nails generally have much better shear strength because they're softer and thicker. Screws are good for holding down deck boards, but not for structural elements.
I rebuilt railings on a rotted deck awhile back that had been constructed with several types of square drive screws. That made me wonder about the building code for them. I'd much rather trust a raining toenailed to the post with nails than with screws.
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On Wed, 8 Jul 2015 11:33:55 -0400, "Mayayana"

It depends on the screws. Simpson sells some very capable ones for their connectors that duplicate or exceed the performance of 10d nails.
You should never have any of these is shear anyway. When building a deck the load should be wood on wood (deck on joists that sit on beams that sit on posts or footings The joist hangers mentioned previously are not really that good with CAC or ACQ wood anyway unless they are stainless and certainly not out in the weather.
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| You should never have any of these is shear anyway. When building a | deck the load should be wood on wood (deck on joists that sit on beams | that sit on posts or footings | The joist hangers mentioned previously are not really that good with | CAC or ACQ wood anyway unless they are stainless and certainly not out | in the weather.
What about when one side of the deck is attached to the house? And what about railings? Or cases where a beam is either unnecessary or impractical? I don't see many decks that are entirely resting on beams. What about steps attached to the deck side? There could also be weakness where joists attach to beams. (Ideally those areas should be reinforced with hurricane ties, but that doesn't always happen. Even then, if hurricane ties are attached with screws it's possible they could be sheared with movement over time.)
I don't know who was talking about joist hangers, but personally I don't see any problem with them. I've never seen rusted out joist hangers. Personally I think the fad around high-tech and stainless steel fasteners is just that. Sometimes it's marketing to sell very expensive replacements for perfectly adequate products. Other times it's a case of reinventing the wheel. That's become almost epidemic -- constantly changing technology that doesn't even have time to really be tested before it's replaced with something else.
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On Wed, 8 Jul 2015 14:07:39 -0400, "Mayayana"

If the deck is "above ground" enough to require a railing, it SHOULD have beams.

Hurricaine ties are not the answer for a load bearing structure. Building it to BEAR the weight is. That means wood bearing on wood, not supported by friction and fasteners in shear. A rim joins set INTO a 6X6 post and connected to the post with carriage bolts qualifies as "wood bearing on wood" and the bolt is not loaded in shear. That's what I do for "ground level" decks. For high decks I bolt 2X8 or whatever to the post on both sides, with the bolt going through both planks and the post, and if the post is 6X or larger, I set the joints into notches in the post half the depth of the plank thickness when posts need to continue up for railings or to support a canopy.

I've seen plenty of them - some in just plain damp locations - some in farm buildings, and quite a few with the new PT lumber.

you can get away with) hot galvanized fasteners.
Standard bright plated or oxide coated steel fasteners can almost totally disintegrate within less than 2 years when used externally with the new PT wood.
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| If the deck is "above ground" enough to require a railing, it SHOULD | have beams. |
It depends on the deck and the size. A stair landing 4x4' is a deck, but it would typically be attached to the house on one side and supported by corner posts on the other. The same is true of attached decks in general. Where I live anything over 30" requires a railing. Are you saying that you'd build a 4x4 stair landing with 4 posts and 2 beams? I hope not. Maybe you didn't understand what I was saying.
| Hurricaine ties are not the answer for a | load bearing structure.
Hurricane ties are designed to keep the joists from lifting off the beams in strong winds. I was talking about the risk of movement and therefore instability where joists sit on beams.
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On Wed, 8 Jul 2015 18:38:57 -0400, "Mayayana"

I would LIKELY use 4 posts even for a second story stair landing - built to be self supporting and free standing, but also fastened to the house structure.
For a lower structure definitely a free standing structure. Both my front veranda (about 6X22 feet and a foot off the ground) and my rear deck (12x12 - about the same hight) are built free standing - on pilings for the porch, and on 4x4 posts in concrete for the deck. The front porth has 1 4x4 post at the one corner that supports the corner of the overhanging roof which is the only real attachment of the "deck" portion to the house.
I built a second story 12X20 deck for a friend years ago that was a good 12 feet above ground - all free standing on 6 6x6 posts and attached to where the original (3X6 foot) "balcony" was bolted to the wall at the door. It was all cross-braced so that it was rigid in all directions without bolting to the structure of the house - bolting it was just "belt and suspenders" That was 18 or 20 years ago, and it was still standing last year - I think it has had deck boards replaced (all 2X6 PT SYP decking originally) All beams bolted to posts, joists on top of the beams, and decking screwed ontop of the joists. Cross bracing bolted to the posts.
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On Wed, 8 Jul 2015 14:07:39 -0400, "Mayayana"

When you have a ledger fastened to the wall, it should be with lag bolts and the joists should be on top of the ledger, not nailed to it

If you live in the south east, galvanized is a temporary deal
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| When you have a ledger fastened to the wall, it should be with lag | bolts and the joists should be on top of the ledger, not nailed to it |
You've got only 1 1/2" for the joists to sit on, and that's assuming you run them up to the house sheathing. (Which is then protected by what? Flashing?) Then how do you attach to the house? By nailing the joists through the sheathing? All that just to avoid using hangers? If you're so convinced that hangers are no good then why not use some kind of cleat board under the joists?
I don't think I've ever heard this opinion about hangers before, and I don't think I've ever seen a deck built in the way you're describing. All I can picture is 2 vertical feet of siding removed, with a 2x12 attached along the bottom foot; aluminum flashing going up under the siding at top and down over the 2x12; then your deck perched on that 2x12. That's how you do it?
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On Thu, 9 Jul 2015 09:25:04 -0400, "Mayayana"

I have never actually built a deck on a ledger board for all the reasons you describe. They have been free standing and only attached to the house for lateral support.
As for joist hangers, they may be fine outside for inland, northern use. In sub tropical or seashore locations not so much. When you are building, you should be looking for 40-50 year life spans at the minimum. Maybe that is just an old fashioned idea though in this "fix it and flip it" mindset those TV people sell us.
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On 7/7/2015 7:57 AM, micky wrote:

Most decks are improperly engineered and constructed by drunken amateurs. I'm guessing this might be one of those.
How to build a deck: http://www.awc.org/publications/dca/dca6/dca6-12.pdf
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Brent posted for all of us...

Heh heh Can't even trust the pros. As before Simpson has been there and solved the problems.
--
Tekkie *Please post a follow-up*

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Another mistake people keep making is piling loads of people on decks.
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wrote:

24 people with an average weight if 200lbs is 4800 lbs, or about 2.5 tons. Remember that most young people are overweight today, so 200lbs is a fair guess. They were probably dancing around too, and that motion adds to the problem. Now add all furniture, grills, coolers, speakers, etc, and we have 3 tons, (not including the weight of the deck itself).
Too many people on ANY deck......
A 10 ft drop is significant, but not all that far down. Its hard to believe some are in critical condition, for only 10 feet, but that depends on what was on the deck to fall on them.
Modern treated wood is mostly treated with copper. Nails/Screws should be MADE FOR IT. Stainless steel is one of them that work. There should have been metal truss joiners too. I bet there was none!
I dont know anything about salt effect (in the air). I dont live in such a place. But I'll bet they did not use enough nails in the first place. Never get cheap with fastners.....
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The deck was probalby never made for that many people. Maybe the condo building rules will now require a stated ammount of people allowed on the decks. Seems that not too many years ago some big hotel had some stairs or something like that fall when it had too many people on it during a big party.
Each kind of treated wood needs the correct kind of nails or screws made for it. Use the wrong kind of nails and the treated wood will 'rust' them out in short order.
Many people are killed by falls from under 10 feet. They fall and just hit their head wrong. Last year my wife tripped over something in the bedroom and fell on a floor with carpet. She broke her wrist just by landing on it wrong. A few years back a friends daughter was on a horse near a road and a car went by and the horse bucked her off. She hit her head and was in bad shape for a couple of weeks. If she had not gotten treatment very quickly after the horse bucked her off she would have died. The doctors haad to put her in a drug coma for about a week, cut a hole in her skull and put a plastic plate in her head. She seems fine now thanks to the doctors.
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On Wed, 08 Jul 2015 00:47:50 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@spamblocked.com wrote:

bouncing 3 tons. We don't know how it was supported - on posts or cntelevered, or posts and a plate fastened to the house - and if a sill, how it was fastened. If on posts, how well was it cross-braced. What wood? Cedar, old style classic PT lumber, or the new PT lumber. What kind of nails were used, and was everything gone with nails or were there bolts used to connect the main structural members? Then what kind of nails.
Building a deck on 2 posts and a sill nailed to the structure (rim joist) of the house with plain nails and no crossbracing on the posts would be approaching criminal negligence, regardless what lumber was used.
A free standing deck supported with 4 or 6 or more posts, properly anchored and crossbraced, or with the plate bolted to the structure of the house would be MUCH better. The posts and beams of the deck structure should be bolted together with hot galvanized or stainless steel carriage bolts, and the floor joists should rest on the beams. Fastening the joists to the beams with joist hangars may be OK for a ground level deck made of cedar or classic PT, but the new PT rots the straight galvanized joist hangars very qwickly, and the straight (not spiral or "ardox") roofing nails most guys use to fasten them are definitely not up to the task.
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On Wed, 08 Jul 2015 17:14:38 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Do they make and sell stainless steel carriage bolts? I've never seen them in the stores?????
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