Now that youve got all the necessary tools, you can start installing deck fasteners. Hopefully, youve chosen fasteners that, as mentioned above, dont need sledgehammers and cumbersome cartridges to install. Many professional deck builders and contractors are recommending hidden deck fasteners that have the screws installed diagonally.
Why are deck fasteners that need to be installed diagonally superior? While not getting into a physics lesson, recent studies conducted by a German university concluded that installing screws at an angle creates a firmer, stronger, and more enduring hold to the joist. Its all about weight distribution, as well hardwood decking expansion and contraction. During the year hardwood decking will expand and contract as the moisture content in the air fluctuates.
If you use top down screws to install your decking, youll find out in a few years that around each of those screws or nails, that the area around the screw has darkened. You might also see splits start protruding. Wood rot, decay, and splinters are a direct result of this, dare I say, primitive form of deck fastening. However, when you install screws diagonally through the edge of one side of the decking, youre alleviating the pressure the wood would normally endure.
You also get a smoother, safer, and better looking deck surface. With composite decking fasteners, you dont have to worry about diagonal installation; you can screw straight down into the joist to fasten composite decking. Why? Unlike hardwoods, composite decking expands and contracts on its length. As a result, you can install composite decking fasteners straight down into the joist because the decking material does not have the same pressures that hardwood decking endures.