I have left over 2x4s and OSB from a project a few months back (lean-to shed). It is just enough to make a 12'x8' deck, and I was wondering if this would be "OK" to use for decking? The main purpose is for a deck for my tent at my Colorado property I just recently bought.

Sound structure doesn't really matter to me so much as a level, off-the-ground place for my tent.

  • If the deck has a cover over it such as a tarp will that improve the life – Stinkymcgee Jul 24 '19 at 15:10
  • True, but that's the case with literally almost anything. – isherwood Jul 24 '19 at 15:26

How long do you wish this to last? A week? A year? 3 years? 10 years?

OSB will tend to absorb water. It will come apart when subjected to rain, sun, snow, (repeat). This will take less time to happen than you may like. It is simply not designed to resist the elements for any serious period of time.

But if all you want is something that will work for a few weeks or a couple of months one summer, it will suffice. Just don't expect it to be serviceable as a deck surface in a year or so. I suppose that a good coat of a high quality paint will slow things down, but a deck surface is flat. Snow and rain will collect on it and stay there. This will wet the wood, and keep it wet, a bad thing.

As for those 2x4s, are they treated? Again, if these will be in ground contact (something must touch the ground) then they won't last too many years either. Bugs like untreated wood. Water will get into it, so expect it to rot at some point.

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  • what if the deck is sloped ever so slightly? And nothing will touch ground (but they are untreated), I will lay 6 cinder blocks down. – Jeremy Boyd Aug 5 '11 at 20:35
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    Still, don't expect a long life there. Sloping it won't hurt, but the snow won't slide off unless its a rather steep slope. :) Paint the surface - keeping it protected will help. Do termites (or carpenter ants) get up into your area of Colorado? They both like untreated wood, and can climb. – user558 Aug 5 '11 at 20:46
  • That is true. I always forget about the properties snow. being from the Texas coast line, we don't get snow. So I will use this as a temporary structure since I already have all the materials. – Jeremy Boyd Aug 6 '11 at 3:01

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