Failing decks are a common problem for property owners and managers. When decks are inadequately waterproofed and maintained, rain and moisture can cause severe damage. Repairs are not only costly but can also become a huge disturbance to tenants and owners.
What do you look for during a deck inspection? Many tell-tale indicators exist and must be attended to quickly before further damage occurs.
When evaluating floating decks, the proper slope should be no less than .˝ per foot. An obvious sign of improper sloping is the puddling of water on the deck’s surface. When a deck is properly sloped, water from moisture or spills should run directly to the drains.
Door thresholds built too close to the deck are a common problem. All door thresholds should be approximately 1˝-1.5˝ above the deck. Also, make sure to look for penetrations in the threshold such as nails, screws or gaps under the door threshold.
Check for good adhesion of the flashing on the outside edges of the deck. Improper flashing at the edges will show signs of rusting and cracking. Survey flashing at the base of walls where it meets the deck. Check for peeling or delamination of the coating. Also be aware that some properties were built with NO flashing at all. Be assured deck failure will occur at some point in time.
Posts for deck railings should be mounted on the outside of the deck. Posts should not be bolted into the top of the deck but if so, check for rusting of the post and hairline cracks.
Professionally installed waterproof deck coatings around the drain should remain adhered to the deck. To be sure, remove drain covers and check for rusting and cracking. Check underneath the deck for improper drainage and watermarks. Thunderbird drains are recommended.
Scuppers should be adhered to the waterproofing system and sloped properly. Puddling at the scupper could mean problems.
A clearance of stucco stop should be at least 2˝ off the deck (higher). Make sure there is FHA at the walls and that the stucco is properly ventilated. Other common issues found with decks include deck surfaces with tile and/or carpet and the use of rubber mats.
Grout line cracks in tile causes leakage and ultimately deck damage. A total removal of tile is needed when any significant problems occur.
Carpet on decks is not recommended in the industry due to moisture problems. Carpet glue will adhere to the deck, slowing down drainage.
Rubber mats can peel the coating from the deck and are not recommended. The foremost consideration for waterproof decking is to do it right the first time. When owners or property managers try to save money, it can cost more money in the end. Avoid expensive mistakes by choosing the right products and a professional, qualified installer to do the job right. The result will be an attractive deck that will stand up to the elements year after year.
Avoid expensive mistakes by doing it right the first time.
Call on Life Deck – a qualified applicator of Westcoat Specialty Coating Systems. We can help with the design and specifications of your next deck inspection and waterproofing project.