With proper flashing, a wood deck will last many years; without it, the deck and the ledger it's attached to will quickly rot. Detailed photos in this article show the difference.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine:June 2000
After you demolish the old deck
but before you start work on the new
one, you'll need to make sure the
wood on and in the house is still in
good shape. Water leaking around
an old deck ledger can cause
significant damage to the house
framing. The existing house rim and
the lower support walls need to be
solid enough to support the multi-ton
weight of a deck filled with people.
After the old deck is removed,
you'll be able to tell if you can still use
the house rim. If the wall sheathing
behind the rim looks good, you're
okay. But if the sheathing is rotten,
investigate further by removing the
rotted areas, and check the house's
rim joist and wall framing to see if
they're rotten too. Don't be too eager
to rip apart and replace moist or discolored
wood; it may still be intact
below the surface. Jam a screwdriver
into the wood in several places. If the
screwdriver penetrates more than
1/4 in. or so, it's replacement time.
Replacing rotted-out rim joists
and lower wooden support walls can
be a huge job. You may want to have
an experienced carpenter on hand to
help walk you through that gauntlet. To properly attach a deck ledger, follow
Poor construction details and materials result in a deck that rots quickly and can damage the structure of the house.
Good flashing details and the proper materials insure that a new deck will last for decades.
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
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