1991 Deck Recovered from October 2009 Storm

  • Advertise with us
Project by KevinH posted 09-14-2010 04:55 AM 1798 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi everyone,

I’m really wanting to get back into woodworking soon, so I’m posting a few modest projects from the past.

I built this 12×12 deck in 1991, out of pressure treated when that material was billed as the environmental way to go – the wood would last for 50 years, thus avoiding consumption of additional wood to repair and replace it. I sank nine posts 36 inches down to reach the frost line, giving me verticle support every six feet. I built the deck somewhat away from the house and at a “creative angle” to give it visual interest and provide more of a 360 degree view of the backyard. I connected it to the house with a short bridge supported by the old back door stoop.

Most of the time, I scrubbed it every other year and applied a coat of Thompson’s WaterSeal (missed that cycle a couple of times). Two years ago, I switched to deck stain and really liked the results.

October 16-17, 2009, we received an early, wet, 6-8 inch snow while the trees were still holding their leaves. The weight was incredible. Some homes had huge limbs break through the roof and ceiling. It was a night of little sleep due to the constant sound of sheering and cracking tree limbs.

One of our 80 year old red oaks, with a 70 foot wide crown formed by three huge beams, could not withstand the weight of the snow. By mid-morning on the 17th, all three branches were down. One sprang off its tips and laid down across a corner of the deck, another landed up against the first (first photo), and the third landed cockeyed against the truck. When the snow melted and it’s weight had left the standing trees, my neighbors came over to help, including Jim who trains aborists how to climb and dismantle trees and limbs safely. Unfortunately, the kinetic energy in the third limb was such that it came down squarely on the deck railing and caused the only real damage to the deck (second photo).

We were very fortunate. A little bit of damage to the deck and a smashed car roof was all the damage we sustained. Others in my neighborhood had far more damage than we did.

About $60 worth of materials and about an hour of time this spring and the deck was ready for another scrub and coat of stain. The third photo, with the canopy, is the way we enjoyed it all summer long.

Side comment: My oldest son was 18 months old when I originally built this deck. My wife insisted, against my protests, that he be allowed to explore in the midst of the construction unless I was running noisey power tools. Accepting that advice was the best home project decision I’ve ever made. My now 20 year old son and I still work on projects together.

-- Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance. --Kevin in Happy Valley

3 comments so far

View Edziu's profile


151 posts in 3073 days

#1 posted 09-14-2010 06:17 AM

Holy smokes you’ve got the dates wrong on that storm. The storm started on Thursday October 12th, 2006. It stopped snowing on Friday October 13th, 2006. I remember the storm very, very well. Nice deck though.

View Matt 's profile


212 posts in 3771 days

#2 posted 09-14-2010 04:22 PM

I’m about three hours away from ya, are you talking about that freak ice storm we had in November? I think it was in 09.

-- Hold on! Let me get the board stretcher!

View KevinH's profile


100 posts in 3829 days

#3 posted 09-14-2010 04:48 PM

It was definitely October 2009 from the date stamp on the photos. The neighborhood kids were climbing over brush to go house to house for Trick-R-Treat last year.

-- Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance. --Kevin in Happy Valley

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics