All decked out- Building a long lasting deck.

By
Home Inspector with NCW Home Inspections, LLC

All decked out- Building a long lasting deck. Wenatchee and Chelan Real Estate Inspections

 

Decks, Decks, Decks… I love decks, but as a Chelan home inspector I have never seen one done completely right. Now I have seen a few that were close and probably will fare very well but still not 100% right.

 

Depending on the climate and the environment in which the deck was built will greatly increase or decrease the cause and effect of issues associated with some of these deficiencies.

 

The number one issue with decks beside the structural integrity is how it will handle water.

 

Even here in our dryer climate of North Central Washington this will still have a great effect on the materials.

 

Attached is a PDF from NADRA, the North American Deck and Railing Association, that addresses water management and deck building.

 

Don’t Build Decks that Rot

 

Here is an example of a deck that moisture was collecting on the beam and blocking then absorbing into the joists causing rot of the joist members.

 

Joist rot from moisture collection Wenatchee Real Estate Joist rot from moisture Chelan Real Estate

 

Again flashings can play a critical role in how durable a deck will be. If we think about all these horizontal surfaces as being little roofs we can now start to think about how to best handle these areas.

 

Flashing detail to prevent moisture issues Chelan Real Estate Inspections

 

Little details again can play a huge role in how the long term effects of weather and moisture on building materials.

 

“If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

Red Adair

 

NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

 

Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

 

www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                               509-670-9572

 

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
692,536
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Donald,

I don't think I have ever seen a deck with the flashing installed. Mostly all treated lumber. But then that even gets dry rot.

Have a good day in the great Northwest my friend.

best, Clint McKie

Mar 26, 2013 06:47 AM #1
Rainer
169,827
Jimmy Faulkner
Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage - Wantagh, NY
The Best Of St. Augustine
thanks for the information. some of it i new to me . What o look for in a home is extremely important. Being able to point out flaws before showings is super
Mar 26, 2013 07:59 AM #2
Rainmaker
365,918
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Clint, You will find that almost none do. I have seen on only a couple of occasions. But I also seethe effects of not having them installed.

Jimmy, You are welcome. This is a best practice and almost no one does it. 

Mar 26, 2013 09:00 AM #3
Rainer
125,002
Jon Karlen
Finish Line Realty - Shelbyville & Louisville Ky Real Estate - Shelbyville, KY
Louisville & Shelbyville Kentucky real estate

Great post.  I've seen way too many decks that are falling down.  Its always the little details that can make a big difference.

Mar 26, 2013 11:38 AM #4
Rainmaker
365,918
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jon, Thank you. Decks if constructed correctly can last much longer than they do and be much safer.

Mar 26, 2013 11:43 AM #5
Rainmaker
290,900
Fred Hernden
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Tampa Bay Area - Tampa, FL
Tampa Bay area Home Inspector

I think that most of the decks in peoples back yards are built by the homeowner or good old Uncle Bob. "Ahhh, no sense in hiring an expensive contractor... me, a 12 pack, and Uncle Bob can knock that out in one weekend."

But I am with Clint, I can't recall seeing that type of flashing on a deck here in Florida. But it would certainly be a good idea!

Mar 26, 2013 12:13 PM #6
Rainmaker
278,022
Mark Horan
Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC - Saint Cloud, FL
"The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC &

Donald, I just built a deck last Christmas for my wife. She kept asking and I kept putting it off. Until one day she announced she hired someone from work. Oh No you don't. Not having someone build something I have to repair in 5 years. It is not fully complete as the stone work around the pergola and the outdoor kitchen are still needed. Steps are painted. Rails will be later. No flashing, floating deck is 12" from the house. Pilings 24" deep. (4) 2x8 I-beams with 4 pilings per I-beam. Beams are 12' wide. Joist 2x6 12" on center. Deck 12'X24'. 1x6 composite decking planks. Pergola posts 6x6. Other pilings 4x4. I think it will hold a car on the surface. neighbor asked if it was a kit?

Night deckDeck

Mar 26, 2013 12:39 PM #7
Rainmaker
365,918
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Fred, The flashing detail is almost never done nor is it required. It really is a best practice.

Mark, Nice. A fee standing deck relieves a lot of issues. I would recommend landing your stringers onto a concrete pads and put a capillary break on them. When you do the rails look at Deck-Lok brackets. http://www.deck-lok.com/

Here is another very good resource on deck building-

http://www.decks.com/deckbuilding

Mar 26, 2013 12:58 PM #8
Rainmaker
278,022
Mark Horan
Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC - Saint Cloud, FL
"The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC &

John, I have the concrete, just haven't had the time to frame and pour. lateral anchors would be the way to go, thank you. I am thinking more industrial looking like pipe railings you might find on exteriors of municipal stairways.

Mar 26, 2013 03:18 PM #9
Rainer
86,684
Ron Fowler
Coldwell Banker Seal - Vancouver, WA

Thanks for this, Donald. Looking at replacing my deck here in Vancouver, WA, where water damage is always an issue and replacing it because it is rotten. That guide is great. With your permission, I would love to share it with a few clients also.

Mar 26, 2013 03:31 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,231,326
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I find inspection items region to region is incredibly interesting.  I have never seen flashing on decks where your diagram shows them.  Maybe, and just maybe, deck flashing over the ledger beam, but never elsewhere!

Mar 26, 2013 03:57 PM #11
Rainmaker
365,918
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Mark, Understand how that goes.

Ron, please use it. It is a great guide for deck construction.

Jay, I am lucky to see a ledger flashing also. I was writing up some issues because of this very thing and then found the NADRA document that addressed the issue. So I am piped piping ; )

Mar 26, 2013 04:10 PM #12
Rainer
106,309
Matthew O'Hare
Foreclosure Prevention Advocates - Osterville, MA

I think a big issue is that any more with a hammer thinks he can build a deck. There are great new materials and great techniques for building decks but still require skilled hands.

Mar 26, 2013 06:43 PM #13
Rainmaker
365,918
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Matthew, This is very true. There is more and more awareness coming with decks but many still really do not understand what they are getting into.

Mar 26, 2013 08:17 PM #14
Rainmaker
1,236,979
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

You post is spot on Donald, deck rot has certain patterns. The use of flashing is underutilized in our area of Sacramento.

Mar 27, 2013 12:07 AM #15
Rainmaker
94,655
Wayne Long
Columbus Ga Real Estate, LLC - Fort Benning - Phenix City - Fort Benning, GA
Homes for Sale In Fort Benning Ga

It's all in the details...  I don't ever see this used in our area.  

Mar 27, 2013 03:20 AM #16
Rainmaker
365,918
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Tom, Thank you. Flashing is under utilized on many areas of a home.

Wayne, This is so true.

Mar 27, 2013 06:06 AM #17
Rainmaker
550,126
Gary Frimann
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
California Broker and REALTOR

It is all in the details as many have pointed out.  I've never recalled seeing a deck with flashing, but it is a great idea.  I've seen the underside of many a deck with water stains.

Mar 27, 2013 09:42 AM #18
Rainmaker
632,850
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Funny, rot is not something I see out this way. There are lots of other issues though. 

Mar 28, 2013 10:05 AM #19
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Rainmaker
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