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Joist Tape on Decks: Waterproofing and Protection

Joist Tape on Decks: Waterproofing and Protection

Introduction to Joist Tape on Decks

Joist tape is a specialized adhesive strip designed to be applied to the top of deck joists before installing the deck boards. It acts as a protective barrier, preventing moisture and water infiltration between the deck boards and the joists. This simple yet effective addition can significantly extend the lifespan of your outdoor deck.

The Importance of Joist Tape for Deck Protection

  1. Preventing Water Damage: Joist tape creates a watertight seal that stops water from seeping into the gaps between deck boards and joists. This prevents rot and decay, which can weaken the structural integrity of the deck over time.
  2. Minimizing Corrosion: In regions with high humidity or coastal environments, metal joist hangers and connectors are susceptible to corrosion. Joist tape provides a protective layer that shields these metal components from moisture and salt, reducing the risk of rust.
  3. Enhancing Deck Longevity: By preventing water-related issues and minimizing potential damage, joist tape contributes to the overall longevity of the deck, saving you time and money on repairs and maintenance.

How to Apply Joist Tape on Decks

  1. Prepare the Surface: Ensure the deck joists are clean and dry before applying the joist tape. Remove any debris, dust, or old tape remnants to ensure proper adhesion.
  2. Measure and Cut: Unroll the joist tape and cut it to the appropriate length for each joist. It's essential to have precise measurements to cover the entire top surface of the joist.
  3. Peel and Stick: Peel off the backing of the joist tape and carefully align it with the top of the joist. Press down firmly to stick the tape onto the surface, smoothing out any air bubbles as you go.
  4. Overlap Seams: When applying multiple strips of joist tape to cover longer joists, make sure to overlap the seams by a few inches. This ensures continuous protection and prevents water from seeping through the gaps.

Best Practices for Installing Joist Tape on Wooden Decks

  1. Choose Quality Tape: Invest in high-quality joist tape made from durable materials that provide excellent waterproofing properties. Cheaper alternatives may not offer the same level of protection.
  2. Inspect Regularly: After installation, periodically check the condition of the joist tape during routine deck maintenance. Replace any damaged or worn-out sections promptly to maintain optimal protection.
  3. Combine with Proper Flashing: For added protection, consider using joist tape in conjunction with proper deck flashing techniques, especially around ledger boards and other vulnerable areas.
  4. Follow Manufacturer's Instructions: Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines and recommendations for the specific joist tape you are using. This ensures you get the best results and guarantees the tape's effectiveness.


Joist tape is a small but crucial component in deck construction that provides significant benefits in terms of waterproofing and protection. By preventing water damage, minimizing corrosion, and enhancing deck longevity, joist tape ensures that your outdoor deck remains sturdy and beautiful for years to come. Take the time to apply it correctly and follow the best practices to enjoy a durable and long-lasting deck that withstands the test of time.