Last summer, we purchased a 13 year old house with a cedar deck. While
replacing a few of the deck boards this week, our contractor noticed
that the deck is attached directly to the vinyl siding without any
flashing installed. He said the only way to save our our sill plate
from rotting is to rip the entire deck down, install the flashing and
rebuild the deck. Is there an easier and less costly way to reduce the
possibility of rot without ripping everything down? We live in Central
NY, so we do get a good amount of snow on the deck each winter. Thanks
Contractors tend to suggest radical solutions, as it makes for bigger jobs.
I've handled this situation by sawing a foot or two off the deck - assuming
yours is not cantelevered off the house - and pulling off the siding, then
structurally tying the deck joists to the house, and flashing and re-siding.
There is also galv. stand-out or hold-away hardware that keeps the deck wood
from touching any of the house, which is ideal. Susggest you consult a deck
building booklet at a big box store, and get the elements of proper deck
building. Otherwise, contractors may take you for a ride.
This is interesting. If your deck was hung on a ledger, and you sawed a
foot or two off the deck, it will fall. So you would've had to set some
kind of bracing in order to do this. If you set adequate temporary
bracing, you would've been far ahead of the game to set a few posts with a
set of double beams approx. 18" from the structure to make a free standing
deck. Do away with ledger/flashing all together. Cut away rotted joist
ends, sister adequate length joists to existing, add flooring and you're
Find a new contractor. Besides the sill plate, I would be concerned about
the outside rim joist of the structure (home). There's a much more cost
efficient way to address the problem you have. See my reply to Roger.
Thanks for the replies. I found even more problems with the deck.
There are no poured footings. The builder rested the 4x4's on concrete
blocks. There is also a 5 person hot tub on the deck. Although it
doesn't look like the deck has moved in the 12+ years it's been there,
I think I'd feel safer pouring some footings. I'm going to move the
hot tub off the deck, pull up all of the cedar deck boards, temporarily
brace the frame and pour the footings. If I am going to add the
flashing instead of converting the deck to free-standing, can the
flashing go in front of the ledger board or does it have to go behind
it? The ledger is attached to the vinyl siding right now. Boy, I'd
like to have a word with the guy who built this deck. Besides the
other problems I mentioned, they used finish nails on the deck boards.
Then when they came loose and began making noise, the previous owner
put 1 screw in the middle of the board between the 2 nails. It didn't
help much, since the deck still squeaks a lot. Such shoddy work on
such nice wood.
Ummmmm, I hate to say it, but if the workmanship is this bad. Maybe it
would be a good idea to start from scratch.
Ledger should be flashed with a "z" type flashing, imagine the "z" rotated
1/4 turn, part would be behind the siding, part on top of the 2"x material,
and part _over_ the ledger (never behind it). Basically you would have a
3"x1-1/2"x3" Z flashing. The siding must come off, bolt ledger, water/ice
guard in the form of a "z", then flashing of your choice (mine's aluminum)
bent in a Z fashion. Then you "J" channel around the ledger, install
siding. Of course if you have a patio door leading out to the deck, you
can't flash 3" up, then you flash under the door, the other bends remain the
I'm still a nut for free standing decks, especially if you have a hot tub on
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