Mahogany Boards on Deck are Curving

by David
(Shoreham, NY)

I have a mahogany deck with southern exposure that was not weatherproofed for the first few years. The boards are starting to curve. Short of replacing the boards is there something I can do. Was thinking of renting a floor sander but was worried the deck nails would damage the tool.

Any thoughts?

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May 05, 2012
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Mahogany decking solutions to cupping
by: Editor - Rich Bergman

If the boards are curving, and I am assuming you mean cupping upwards so that they are now pooling or collecting water then this means the boards should have been installed on the other side. Check the growth rings by looking at the end grain of the boards.

The rings should have the concave shape facing upwards. This is the side of the board that actaully faced in to the center of the log when it was cut. This allows the board to expand when wet and stretch and distort along the grain lines so that the cupping actually occurs on the under side of the board. The top of the board would have a convex rise to it and actually help shed water.

The other issue is that mahogany is quite a strong wood and it has to be screwed down,not nailed. It can pull a lot of fasteners out because of its strength. So those are two issues.

Your solution now? I would consider removing the cupped boards and reinstalling them the other way. If anyone else has experience with mahogany please help out.

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