Why “Shear Strength” Matters When It Comes to Your Deck


It’s a fact that when it comes to their decks, homeowners overwhelmingly say that the most important attribute is “strong and durable.” Makes sense, after all, that’s where friends and families gather and their children play.

So when you’re choosing building materials for your deck, you want to make sure that the shear strength will handle the weight of people, furniture, hot tubs and whatever else may go on it. Shear strength directly affects load-bearing capacity, long-term stability and durability. So when you read that Humboldt Redwood has shear strength five times greater than plastic-composite lumber, that’s important for two reasons.

First, Humboldt Redwood is a structural building material, one of nature’s finest. Composite lumber is a non-structural material. It is not meant to withstand heavy loads or stresses and may warp, bend or chip under duress. Humboldt Redwood provides dimensional stability along with its natural strength and durability.

Second, because plastic composite lumber is non-structural, you have to support it with a lot more substructure. Recommended joist spacing is 12-16” on center; that’s a lot more joists to install compared to Humboldt Redwood. Because redwood is so strong, joists can be placed 18-24” on center. Over a span of a 20-foot deck that’s twice as many joists for the plastic composite deck; and extra labor, material and costs. It’s practically like building a deck under your deck.

So when you want to build a strong and durable deck, use strong and durable, structural building materials such as Humboldt Redwood. For more reasons why, click here!

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