deck wood shrinking

Last fall I built a new deck from the house to an above ground pool. This spring I intend to give it a good coating of Cabots stain. As I have been shoveling the snow off it, (live in NY) I have been noticing that there is some shrinkage where the hand railings meet the 4x4's. Before I stain, is there anything I can put in these spaces to fill them in -wood filler or some type of caulking? The deck is made of PT wood. Thanks for any help. Bob
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help.
1. You cannot do anything about this until the weather allows, perhaps in May. 2. The main cause of damage to timber decks is damp, which encourages mould and fungus. The gap between your posts and rails may facilitate drainage and rapid drying. (3. Some deck builders dip every end grain cut in preservative or stain before installation.)
-- Don Phillipson Carlsbad Springs (Ottawa, Canada)
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<< The deck is made of PT wood. >>
Often PT wood is "wet", shipped as it comes out of the treatment tanks. Shrinkage will naturally continue for some time after exposure to normal environments. Given your situation, I would let it stabilize for another few months, and tackle the cosmetics next fall. Consider using a nice molding to tidy up the more noticeable shrinkage gaps. HTH
Joe
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wrote:

That's what wood does, especially PT wood. I would not bother with the spaces, unless they are collecting debris. Make sure the deck is clean and dry before you apply the stain. Stain all the end-grain of the entire deck first, then go back and stain everything. The end-grain is where mositure collects and rot begins.
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Thanks for the help. Sometimes I do get a little anal. Bob

help.
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I'd leave the shrinkage alone. PT pine will shrink as moisture is lost. I've been a long supporter of Cabot stains (my wife used to work for them in Boston) but recently my painter has been steering me towards Benjamin Moore. Experience says that an objective comparrison/evaluation might be a good thing.
RB
Sparky wrote:

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