Understanding The Materials Used For Deck Waterproofing
Homeowners may have many questions about the materials used for deck waterproofing. Terminology the average lay person is unfamiliar with is often used that can leave a person puzzled as to what is really going on. They may have their own ideas that are important to them of how the project should be approached but lack the knowledge to ask the right questions. It is important to build a relationship of trust by being able to effectively explain what all of this “stuff” is as well as its purpose.
Flashings are metal strips that are installed in plywood decks to cover the seams where two sheets of plywood meet. A flashing will also be installed around a drain. On roofs, flashing is often used to protect junctions between the roof and chimneys, ventilation shafts or where a part of the roof transitions to an overhanging porch. These metal strips help to prevent water from penetrating into these seams and junctions.
To make a flashing impervious to water, its edges are caulked to create a waterproof seal and bond with the surface material. Caulk can be comprised of different formulas. The type used depends on the surface material, whether a project is indoors or outdoors, and personal preference. The choice typically comes down to latex or silicone. However, there are now available caulk products that combine the two formulas. Some professional craftsmen have their own personal preference between latex or silicone. Many opt for the combination product so they can enjoy the benefits of both.
Galvanized Metal Lath
This mouthful can best be described as a steel base product used to reinforce a surface. It can be combined with other products, such as water resistant paper and wire, to create a framework for surface materials to adhere to. It is often used in the process of creating a stucco finish.
To Power Wash or Not To Power Wash
Before applying any sealant products it is important to begin with a clean, dry surface to maximize adhesion. The most commonly deployed tool for this job is a power washer and cleansers designed specifically for the wood surfaces of decking materials. However, many of today’s consumers are concerned about the “green” aspect of this approach. Do power washers waste or conserve water? Is the pressure powerful enough to damage wood fibers? Are specialty cleaners non-toxic? Are they environmentally friendly? Will it produce fumes that pose a health hazard?
The various details of a deck waterproofing project can sometimes be overwhelming. It may seem to have a language of its own. To stay informed on techniques, methods and products used in deck waterproofing systems, please contact us. The qualified professionals on our team are happy to answer your questions.