Enclosing deck

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Old 08-15-14, 07:06 AM
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Enclosing deck

Hey all,

Ive been doing some reading about skirting for decks and have come across a lot of pictures where people enclosed the entire underside of the deck and put stone or some sort of veneer around it. I really like this look and would like to do it but i have heard a lot of people say its not smart because the underside of the deck will not be able to breathe... what are your opinions on this? At first i was thinking of maybe leaving some holes on each side to allow a cross breeze but that might just encourage wild life to nest in there.
What would be your suggestions? Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 08-15-14, 08:32 AM
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Don't do it. Unless you don't mind if the deck rots out and turns moldy before its time.
 
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Old 08-15-14, 02:00 PM
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Would there really be that much moisture buildup?? I have composite decking and there are gaps between the boards so there should be convection through there and as i said i can leave a few air holes if necessary.... what are we talking about in terms of speeding up rot? 5 years sooner?
 
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Old 08-15-14, 09:19 PM
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Does it snow and/or rain where you live? If it does, I suspect most or all of the runoff will drop through/between your deck boards and collect down there. Deck board problems will be the least of your worries--the support structure (framing) of your deck will suffer the most. Moreso if the lumber used was not preservative pressure treated.

I lack the skills to accurately predict how much sooner your deck framing will deteriorate, once you subject it to a sauna. But I've inspected many hundreds of timber structures over the years, and rot is always prevalent where conditions are right--and that includes a food source (your deck) and moisture being available. A few "air holes" will make little difference.
 
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Old 08-16-14, 04:59 AM
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Many people extoll the virtues of plastic decking. It won't rot. Now let's move on to your framing. What is it made of? Oh, wood. Darn, there goes the "it won't rot" theory. As Bridgeman says, don't do it. ANY moisture that falls through your decking has the potential of rotting the framework of your deck.

The only way I would consider enclosing (with ventilation) the underside of a deck would be to first install an under deck drainage system to take the water away from under the deck.
 
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Old 08-18-14, 07:13 AM
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The frame is made of SYP pressure treated lumber... i have layed down blue tarp underneath the entire deck and water flows away from the deck since the grade is fairly large... is there anything else that can be done? I hate the way lattice looks and landscaping is not really an option...
 
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Old 08-21-14, 05:42 AM
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Anyone else care to chime in?
 
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Old 08-21-14, 06:12 AM
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We understand that the framing is pressure treated but that doesn't change anything - it needs to be able to dry out when it gets wet. Normally there is enough ventilation under an elevated deck to accomplish this but when you severely restrict the ventilation - you are asking for problems.
 
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Old 08-21-14, 06:44 AM
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OK, I'll chime in - I wouldn't do it.
 
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Old 08-21-14, 07:57 AM
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So how are others getting away with it? Are they just throwing caution to the wind and letting their decks rot prematurely??
 
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Old 08-21-14, 09:42 AM
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Unless the moisture is effectively removed from under the deck - the deck will have a shorter life! Just because someone hasn't been under the deck to notice the damage moisture is taking doesn't mean it's not happening. They will wake up at some point and realize they need to replace their deck.
 
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