Deck built on top of Concrete Patio

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Old 08-15-18, 01:25 PM
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Deck built on top of Concrete Patio

A little Background: Previous owners of home we just purchased laid down this patio on top of their old concrete patio. They secured 2x6's to concrete, then secured decking to the 2x6's. Well all the 2x6's are now completely rotted, and need to be replaced (along with some of the decking). So we're tearing up the deck and starting fresh. We're going to just replace the deck as it is. We live in the White Mountains of Arizona, it's pretty dry generally, but do have monsoon weather pattern in summer, with some snow in winters.

Short of removing the concrete patio (not really an option), I'm looking for suggestions on what might be the best option/material/etc. to replace the 2x6 substructure that is secured to the concrete patio? And also any suggestions for ways to reduce moisture exposure to the "substructure" to prolong it's life. Part of the patio is covered, but part is not, so I'm looking to try and either improve drainage/improve air-flow/reduce water exposure to the part of the patio that is laid on the concrete. Any ideas/advice would be appreciated.
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Old 08-15-18, 02:17 PM
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Welcome to the forums!
Any time you install wood like that with no ventilation under it and exposed to the elements - it will be a short life for the wood. IMO you either need to get rid of the concrete so the wood can have some air flow under it or get rid of the wood, maybe install pavers.
 
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Old 08-15-18, 03:31 PM
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If you intend to redo the "deck" similar to what they had before, I would first examine which way the concrete slopes. The old sleepers had no drainage (bad) so you can improve on that. If you can determine if the concrete has slope... such as to the front... run all your pressure treated 2x2 or 2x3 sleepers on 16" center (or 19.2) to allow water to drain between them. If you leave them protrude past the edge of the concrete, you could then put a small fascia on the front without blocking the drainage. Anchor the sleepers with 1/4" x 2 3/4" tapcons. Don't put a solid perimeter up.

Your decking can run perpendicular to the sleepers. I wouldn't run it on a 45 but that's just me. You could use a composite instead of treated decking... might last a little longer than wood, but be sure you space it properly. Hidden fasteners (like the kreg deck jig) would work good.

I'm not a big fan of decks directly over concrete but it is what it is.
 
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Old 08-15-18, 03:49 PM
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Most treated 2"x lumber is only treated for above ground use where it can dry out. I would special order new sleeper material treated to a higher level. There are several levels of treatment and the higher levels offer more protection.

If you really want it to last you can order CCA treated lumber. It is no longer approved for residential use but it's what's used for highway guardrails and piers & docks in salt water.
 
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Old 08-15-18, 04:53 PM
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I agree with prior comments about the fact that the new wood will exhibit same.

So why not go 100% composite even for the support boards, can you get away with a 1x6 composite vs a 2x6 treated board to install the new deck!

By the way, consider composite, you wont regret!!
 
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Old 08-19-18, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
Welcome to the forums!
Any time you install wood like that with no ventilation under it and exposed to the elements - it will be a short life for the wood. IMO you either need to get rid of the concrete so the wood can have some air flow under it or get rid of the wood, maybe install pavers.
Thank you.
Unfortunately, removing the concrete is not an option, but that was my first thought. And it looks like maybe whoever installed the deck thought the same thing. There are a bunch of cuts in the concrete (you can see them in the 2nd pic). Either they aborted the plan, or the cuts were to improve drainage, don't know.

I hadn't thought of pavers instead of lumber. Should I be concerned about them cracking and breaking over time with the temperature changes while under load from the deck?
 
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Old 08-19-18, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by XSleeper View Post
If you intend to redo the "deck" similar to what they had before, I would first examine which way the concrete slopes. The old sleepers had no drainage (bad) so you can improve on that. If you can determine if the concrete has slope... such as to the front... run all your pressure treated 2x2 or 2x3 sleepers on 16" center (or 19.2) to allow water to drain between them. If you leave them protrude past the edge of the concrete, you could then put a small fascia on the front without blocking the drainage. Anchor the sleepers with 1/4" x 2 3/4" tapcons. Don't put a solid perimeter up.

Your decking can run perpendicular to the sleepers. I wouldn't run it on a 45 but that's just me. You could use a composite instead of treated decking... might last a little longer than wood, but be sure you space it properly. Hidden fasteners (like the kreg deck jig) would work good.

I'm not a big fan of decks directly over concrete but it is what it is.
Thank you.
Yes, I believe the deck does have a slope away from the house. I'm going to confirm this, as I like what you suggested with regard to laying the sleepers so that water can drain away between them. That was the first thing I noticed was how they boxed in the water, essentially. And I've considered using composite for the substructure/sleepers, I'm learning more about them. Do i just use the 1x6 decking boards that I can grab at Home Depot/Lowes? Or are there specific composite substructure pieces? This deck is big, and were actually going to extend it around the corner of the house, so using composite for the whole structure is cost prohibitive.
 
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Old 08-19-18, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilot Dane View Post
Most treated 2"x lumber is only treated for above ground use where it can dry out. I would special order new sleeper material treated to a higher level. There are several levels of treatment and the higher levels offer more protection.

If you really want it to last you can order CCA treated lumber. It is no longer approved for residential use but it's what's used for highway guardrails and piers & docks in salt water.
Thank you.
I am looking into composites as well as lumber treated to higher levels, for ground contact, etc.
 
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Old 08-19-18, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Marq1 View Post
I agree with prior comments about the fact that the new wood will exhibit same.

So why not go 100% composite even for the support boards, can you get away with a 1x6 composite vs a 2x6 treated board to install the new deck!

By the way, consider composite, you wont regret!!
Thank you.
I'd love to go 100% composite. And if I could have put off rebuilding the deck another couple years, I probably would. But this deck is pretty large, wraps around one side of the house, and were going to extend it around the other side a little, so 100% composite is cost prohibitive right now, unfortunately.
 
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Old 08-19-18, 02:46 PM
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so 100% composite is cost prohibitive
Unfortunately that is not correct, you have to look at the long term cost of maintenance and repair as part of the equation,

Composite is only 40% more but you have zero maintenance, zero repair and 100% satisfaction.

Do a little seaching on this site and tell me if you find any complaints for composite decking vs wood.

I can help, you will find none!

Dont keep making the same mistake that many do!
 
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Old 01-30-19, 03:21 PM
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This old thread was recently brought to my attention... and I have just a few comments to add for accuracy.

Composite decking (5/4 x 6 x 16' for example) is generally at least DOUBLE the price of treated wood. (that's 100% more for you math wizards out there...) Of course, higher quality composites could be 3x the cost of treated or more. Specialty parts like railings and ballusters are even more. Then there are the clips and fasteners- the hidden fastener accessories are not free... a composite deck and railing could possibly cost 3x or more over a simple PT deck and railing. So before you decide what to buy, do your homework and count the cost.

Nothing is really "zero maintenance". Composite can definitely be LOW maintenance, (everything needs a good cleaning now and then) it can look good and can last longer... IF you can afford the initial cost. Like anything, YOU have to decide if the benefits are worth it.

Would be nice if we all could have composite decks, drive Cadillac's, smoke Cuban cigars and drink Cognac but unfortunately not everyone can buy the best... not everyone WANTS the best... and not everyone is living in their "forever home".

Finally, like any product, there are a few complaint threads. Some are installation related... others relate to expansion and contraction, bending, mold growth, or even the temperature on your bare feet.

On the other hand, some people just like WOOD. Can't argue with that if it's what they want or like.
 
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