Re: question about resurfacing decks
From: James Kacki (
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 15:26:38 -0700 (PDT)
As an architect, my first impression is that Marks suggestions are correct, but you are also correct Kay in that the detailing is critical. The theory is simple. The sheet roofing, rubber, EPDM or similar waterproof membrane will last for years (decades even) but must incorporate a slight slope (1/4" to 1'-0" is recommended minimum), leading the water away from any walls roofs etc. to a place where it can drain away. Then another part of the simple theory is that there must be no penetrations of the membrane. The floating wood decking that Mark refers to must not be nailed through the membrane, have sharp edges or block the water from flowing to a drainage point. Its a tricky thing to design properly and the best advice while planning is to avoid these situations. But if the design warrants a flat deck over a living space, it can be done but be super vigilant about the detailing. A coating over the plywood helps if it is the right product, but should never be counted on as the line of defence to keep water out (due to joints in the plywood eventually opening up, cracking etc.) Marks suggestions are the more appropriate method IMHO.

On 21-Aug-08, at 4:18 PM, Kay Argyle wrote:

... butyl rubber sheets, a.k.a. "rubber roofing," glued in place to
form a continuous weather barrier (and) covered with floating
wood decking consisting of sleepers and deck boards.
... expected lifespan much greater. ... a deck might last decades without
further attention. > > Mark

We wish. Our decks have rubber underneath.  Ask your architect and
contractor how much experience they have with it. Based on our experience, I'd guess there's something tricky about design and installation, making sure water drains off the edge you want it to instead of seeping around edges you don't. (You'll recall my mentioning walls being ripped out ....)


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