Homeowner needs Advice on poorly installed deck and Siding.

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Old 10-06-14, 12:16 AM
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Homeowner needs Advice on poorly installed deck and Siding.

I am a homeowner that has a deck installed directly to the LP siding and there does not seem to be any flashing at all. This is installed at the front of the house and to the main entrance, where there is sort of a breezeway between the living room and the garage. I live in RAINY west coast and the LP siding is soft and soggy and now filled with dampwood termites in the siding near the surface of the deck. About 3 to four boards up from the deck, the siding seems just fine.

I have some estimates to replace and repair the breezeway and the front of the house for about $5K, the whole house for $12K.

I do not have the $$ for either and am considering doing the work myself. I have been watching some youtube videos and it seems like I could handle the work.

However, I think the deck is installed wrong, there is no support in the breezeway, just attached to the house. The deck area at the front of the house, does have a support beam the length of the deck, and is attached through the siding at the house and attached to the breezeway deck.

Below are some links to photos that I have uploaded to my website that show the house, breezeway, deck surface, and under the deck. Hopefully this is helpful.

So my main question is this: Is it possible to have the deck all self supported, on concrete deck pier and not attached to the house at all? If so, would I have to have some sort of flashing on the edge of the deck, because it is so snug against the siding? Or would it be best to trim the boards down a couple inches or so, that the deck does not even touch the siding, letting the rain run between the deck and siding?

BTW, I am not sure if I should replace this with LP siding or Cemplank brand. I just want to fix the boards that are damaged, not all of it, because I plan on selling the house next summer. I figure to fix the damage, and believe the a potential buyer will probably talk me down on the price regardless if the home has all new siding or not, so then if they gripe about LP siding, to give an allowance/discount toward new siding. At least I would have removed the really bad siding that the termites are lunching upon. Oh, also I called the pest control and they say to remove the siding, and they can't help much with deterring them, as dampwood termites only like dampwood! Also others have informed me that odds are these buggers would not have made it into the structure of the house due to the vapor barrier. At least that is what I am hoping for!

Here are the links to the photos:

http://www.mahogan.com/deck/SAM_7711.JPG

http://www.mahogan.com/deck/SAM_7712.JPG

http://www.mahogan.com/deck/SAM_7713.JPG

http://www.mahogan.com/deck/SAM_7714.JPG

http://www.mahogan.com/deck/SAM_7715.JPG

http://www.mahogan.com/deck/SAM_7718.JPG

http://www.mahogan.com/deck/SAM_7719.JPG

http://www.mahogan.com/deck/SAM_7720.JPG

http://www.mahogan.com/deck/SAM_7721.JPG

http://www.mahogan.com/deck/SAM_7722.JPG

http://www.mahogan.com/deck/SAM_7724.JPG
 
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Old 10-06-14, 04:27 AM
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Welcome to the forums! We may not have a magic answer for you, but hopefully we can make some suggestions. But first a few observations and questions. What type wood is the deck made of? You being in the PNW, some of us are not familiar with the wood species you use. It does not appear to be pressure treated. I have never seen siding sent that low on a concrete wall. Where is your floor level to the inside of the house? is there framing that low on the concrete? The vent is below grade, which can't be good. Making this deck free standing would entail an almost total removal since you will have to replace siding. At present, except for the bolt holes, water should shed past the deck without the need for flashing, since the siding is continuous. The breezeway would not require any more support since its size is within the parameters of the wood used for the joisting, provided the ledgers are properly bolted to the opposing walls, which we can't see. Is there any termite damage above the deck, or is it on the lower portions, below it? A good vapor barrier in that confined space could help with the moisture, for sure.
 
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Old 10-06-14, 11:34 PM
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Reply to questions from Chandler

Hi Chandler,
Thanks for the reply and the questions, I will try to answer as best I can.

Q1) What type wood is the deck made of? You being in the PNW, some of us are not familiar with the wood species you use. It does not appear to be pressure treated.

A1) I am not entirely certain, but I believe it is Douglas Fir, if it is not pressure treated, it has held up well, the house was built in 1993!

Q2) I have never seen siding sent that low on a concrete wall. Where is your floor level to the inside of the house? is there framing that low on the concrete?

A2) I also was surprised that the siding was so low, it is actually below the floor, the concrete footings are actually near the level of the dirt under the deck. There is a crawl space under the house section that I can actually stand with headroom, I am 6 foot tall. So I would have to go down there and measure the wood frame under the floor joists to the concrete, but I think in the crawl space, it is about 4 feet wood frame 2-3 feet concrete, but am not solid on that guess.


Q3) The vent is below grade, which can't be good.

A3) I actually think that they backfilled this area, or it is filling up over the past 20 years, but yes, that vent seems nearly buried. Should I dig the dirt out some?

Q4) Making this deck free standing would entail an almost total removal since you will have to replace siding. At present, except for the bolt holes, water should shed past the deck without the need for flashing, since the siding is continuous. The breezeway would not require any more support since its size is within the parameters of the wood used for the joisting, provided the ledgers are properly bolted to the opposing walls, which we can't see.

A4) The deck is so tightly fastened to the siding in the breezeway, with no flashing, that there is NO gap for water to run between the house and the siding. This is the problem area, because we get so much rain that the gutters constantly overflow from the 3 slopes of the roof line above the breezeway (yes, the gutters are cleaned regularly) With that, since the current deck is so tight on the siding with no gap, this is where I was wondering if I were to trim the boards down a couple inches so there would be a gap?

I do not believe there are any ledgers on this entire deck, as far as I understand a proper ledger is attached to the house structure/studs. From what I can tell the edges of all the deck is bolted to the siding, even at the front door.

Q5) Is there any termite damage above the deck, or is it on the lower portions, below it?

A5) As far as I know the termite damage is in the two siding boards just above the deck where it is typically saturated all year (never sees the light of day even in August!) But without removing the deck and siding, I cannot be certain of this, it could be more extensive.

Q6) A good vapor barrier in that confined space could help with the moisture, for sure.

A6) When you speak of a vapor barrier in the space under the deck, not certain exactly what you mean. Would this be the same as the heavy black plastic vapor barrier like in my home crawl space? If so, I could forsee a huge runoff of water from the rain, so I would have to somehow be able to direct/divert or capture this water to run away from my driveway and home. Suggestions?

Thanks!
 
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Old 10-07-14, 02:28 AM
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Not the pro on this but looking at pictures and since you are in for a fairly large job I would increase the size of gutters. Would help with getting water out .
 
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Old 10-07-14, 08:29 AM
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Got a mess there. A case of could have should have, but to late now.
Should have been made free standing.
Should never have built the stoop even with the threshold.
Should have removed the siding waterproofed the wall, installed ledger then added flashing.
They should have installed 1 X 4 PVC limber spacers to keep the ledger out away from the wall so there would be drainage.
Decking never ever should be tight to the wall, sure way to trap moisture.
Looks like a total do over to me.
 
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