Maintaining an outdoor stage

superdoo

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Jan 23, 2008
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Bismarck, ND
What is the best way to maintain an outdoor stage that has no secondary protection from the elements other than a coat of paint. It is North Dakota so the long winter is also a factor.

Another note: The deck is 3/4" ply sitting on weather treated 4x4s and there is no obvious rake. So puddling happens.
 

avkid

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Howell, NJ
Tacking a tarp to it with a staple gun.
 

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Or a pool liner. The outdoor stages I have worked on usually are built to drain water, either with a rake or built of aluminum and concrete. 3/4 ply would work, if it was marine grade (extremely expensive and VERY VERY heavy). I am going to assume you coat it to death with paint/sealer and hopefully when it was built ever piece of lumber was coated with paint before any cuts were made and all the cuts were later sealed with paint. Good luck with this one....
 

SHARYNF

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Sep 3, 2006
IF it were new construction I would say completely coat it with expoxy so it would be lke a boat, but once it is painted this is a problem. You would epoxy it then give it a coat of a quality two part marine enamel.

For an existing stage, O would geat a large tarp, make your self a frame for it with enought slope to drain off standing water.

On paints definitely look at marine coatings

Sharyn
 

superdoo

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Jan 23, 2008
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Bismarck, ND
Yeah, I wasn't around for it's construction and of course $$ is as always tight. The tarp with a frame is a good idea though.
Do you have any places that sell extremely large tarps (the stage is 70'x40') you would recommend.
 

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Or go to your nearest trucking supplier, sometimes they have old ones that are still in good shape. Its worth a try at least.
 

superdoo

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Jan 23, 2008
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Bismarck, ND
50'x100' for $196.00 here. I like the camo decor tarps, to hide your stage from overhead airplanes!
Actually It's funny you mention it because on google earth they caught us with and all white stage. It's really pretty funny to see a giant white thing in the middle of nowhere!

Thanks for trucking idea foot!
 

gafftaper

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Your local real lumber yard should be able to get you big tarps. Contractors use them to cover buildings during remodel work with the roof off.
 

SHARYNF

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Sep 3, 2006
What you are looking for is not the standard blue tarp but the roll of material that they use in construction and is UV stabilized

http://www.mpdplastics.com/string.html

with that system you would make the frame and tack or staple the tarp to it with strips

the other method, that we use for boats here in Alaska is a shrinkable material that you lay out, and then use a heater to shrink into shape, works very well you would make your supporting frame to get the run off pitch lay out the material *you can join multiple pieces together, and then shrink the item to make a snug fit i

http://www.boatshrink.com/index.htm
Sharyn
 
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Jan 28, 2007
Location
Leesburg Virginia
You can shim the back of the stage to get a slight rake. How is the stage attached to the ground? If the set sits on 4x4 legs, you can use bolt-on mount system, so when you are storing the stage, loosen the bolts and shim it to a rake, if you want it level for a production, loosen the bolts and unshim it. This is a lot of work, but it might help your problem.

If you have used outdoor grade paint and sealed the wood, you need not worry about a tarp, that is just another thing that will wear down and need replacing. If you repaint your stage once, or every other year, you should be fine.
 

SHARYNF

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Sep 3, 2006
If you are in ND you weather is like ours, the idea of paint it every two years and it will be fine, typically is not going to work. Even using the highest grade marine plywood, totally sealed, simply does not work, every nail or screw hole will let moisture in, PLUS paint is NOT waterproof. Believe me living with boats it is the first thing you learn. In addition the freezing and then thawing with major swings in temp breaks loose all the seals.

If it were made out of cedar planks then you MIGHT be ok but paintedPlywood simply will not withstand standing snow. Just look around your town and see how many plywood decks and porches there are and how they look

Anyway lots of suggestions, and things to think about

Sharyn
 

superdoo

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Jan 23, 2008
Location
Bismarck, ND
Oh believe me sharyn, that deck gets painted 3 or 4 times a year and every spring it gets worse and worse!

The deck can't be lifted as the 4x4's the ply rests on are the base.

The best part of all this is the fact that they built another outdoor space and I tried to get them to use concrete for the foundation but they used 4x4 posts and 2x8 joists. It's being constructed by an eagle scout as a project. I haven't seen it yet but I can't wait!:neutral:
 

SHARYNF

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Sep 3, 2006
if you remade the stage using some material that is a composite plastic type material is a good idea,

The basic problem is that people believe that paint is water proof, and it isn't if you look at coatings that are used on boats etc, they are an option, not perfect since the surface is already weathered, but a possibility to get more years out of the stage

Here are a few in boating each type has its fans ;-)



http://www.grizzlygrip.com/boats.asp

http://www.sanitred.com/

http://www.durabakcompany.com/marine.htm

Sharyn
 
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Jan 28, 2007
Location
Leesburg Virginia
I think it was Sherwin Williams, but someone just announced a special new polymer paint that is completely watertight, and made for outdoor wood applications, or at least that is what the advertisement said, you should check it out.