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4 Basic Durability Improvements for Deck Construction

August 24, 2020

Water is the enemy of structural integrity. It just is, so you have to design against it.

1/ Concrete piers extend above grade, and posts are set in galvanized post bases atop the concrete piers. This way, the post never sits in water.

2/ Deck Ledger is spaced off the house with an inch of schedule-40 PVC plumbing pipe. It acts as a tunnel for each fastener, spacing the ledger off the house about an inch. This provides air circulation and drainage space. nothing gets stuck in the gap, and water flows right through.

3/ Cover the tops and ends of the joists with butyl tape. This protects from standing water of the tops, and it prevents wicking at the ends.

4/ Ledger flashing extends from behind the housewrap WRB* to over the deck ledger. Aarow bends its own flashing for this to make sure the dimensions are correct. The horizontal band that covers the ledger has about a 5-degree slope to promote drainage.

*Jake misidentifies the Tyvek as a vapor barrier, but we are confident that he knows that Tyvek is not a vapor barrier; instead, he just got nervous with the camera rolling.

—Jake Bruton owns and operates AAROW BUILDING in Columbia, Missouri.

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