| Installing a Dry Deck
Dry Deck Construction
A common problem that many homeowners have with second level decks
is how to effectively create a dry deck or deck waterproof so that
they can gain a dry area underneath the deck, either for storage or
a walkout patio. There are several alternatives for a dry under deck
that can be considered and some are DIY tasks that do not require
A under deck waterproofing system is a novel way of waterproofing a
deck and retaining the existing natural wood surface on top. This
requires a ceiling to be installed underneath the deck, attached to
the joists. The sealing is constructed of metal roofing material
installed in such a way that the water that comes through the deck
surface drains away into a gutter situated at the edge of the
ceiling. This is the same metal roofing that is used on roofs in
place of shingles. I installed this system approximately fifteen
years ago while living in the mid west. It was an idea that I
adopted after putting metal roofing on a shed. It is a very
practical solution to provide a dry area underneath the deck.
There are other methods for a dry deck such as installing a vinyl
membrane over the existing surface. The membrane system is a roll
out vinyl sheeting which may typically have a core of a heavy duty
polyester fabric to provide protection against puncture and tearing.
With this method you cannot retain the original natural wood
appearance of the deck.
Another method is to install aluminum decking instead of wood
planking. Normally this type of decking would replace the original
wood planks on your deck. Channels on the underside of the decking
permits water to drain away to the edge of the deck. The drawback is
it is very expensive can get very hot underfoot in mid-summer.
There is also a vinyl ceiling that attaches to the underneath of an
existing deck. The system is made of interlocking parts that are
easy to cut and install. The vinyl system gives your ceiling a
corrugated look. Water and other liquids from the upper deck are
diverted into gutters and to be drained way. Seamless gutters and
downspouts can be used to quickly direct liquids away from your
Whether you are looking for a ceiling for your lower level deck or
if you want to create a dry place for storage or a walk out patio
from the lower level, a waterproofing systems will help you reclaim
the space under your deck. Installing metal roofing is the least
expensive and can be performed by a DIY home owner.
Installing a Dry Deck System
For most DIY home owners installing metal roofing under a second
story deck is not a difficult task. The medal roofing material can
be ordered in any size and in many different colors. It is simply
screwed in place from underneath with special water tight self
tapping screws. To insure that you get the drainage from the ceiling
it must be sloped properly. This can be accomplished by installing
ceiling strapping. See Fig. 1 and 2.
piece of strapping should be nailed in place at 12 inch intervals
and with an increase in thickness by 1/4 on each strip. If your deck
is twelve feet wide this will provide you with a 3 inch slope which
is sufficient to drain the water away as nearly as fast as it
accumulates. I recommend that you install a gutter drain at the end
of the ceiling to drain the water away from the deck.
there are a number of other methods to create a dry under deck, this
method is much cheaper that the alternatives and is very effective
and looks great. See Fig. 3 for a completed than metal ceiling under
a second story deck.
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