Podcast Episode 131 – Dealing With Wet Decking
Concrete piers that fall below grade, pooling water on a deck, and cathedral ceiling installation
Justin, Patrick, and Matt discuss solutions to concrete piers that fall below grade, how to diagnose and deal with pooling water on a deck, and troubleshooting a tongue-and-groove cathedral ceiling installation.
Question 1, from Adam: Guys- I’m building a no-step entry house, which has front and back attached porches. The treated porch columns are anchored to a concrete footing wall which sits lower than desired. The porches will be finished with pavers, but to achieve a no-step entry, the porches would first have to be backfilled.
The problem with this is that this backfill will be burying the columns by about 6-9″.
I’m worried about backfilling around these critical structural members in an active termite area. Do you have suggestions on keeping these columns safe from moisture and termites for years to come?
I’m thinking my best route would be to “tar” the bottom perimeter of the columns, and pack around them with larger 3/4″ rock, pea gravel, or sewer chips. What do you think?
Question 2, from Dustin: Hey guys, I built a Trex deck late last fall for a customer and they are concerned it is holding water on the surface too long after a rain. The photos below were taken over a 2.5 hour period with about 20 minutes between each photo. It was 75 degrees, sunny, and barely a breeze the day I took the photos.
The deck was constructed with treated lumber for framing and installed with Trex hidden fasteners. I feel that the drying time for the deck isn’t a concern and the variation in drying time is due to shadows and differences in the lumber as it dries. Would you guys agree? If not what did I do wrong and how do I address it now?
Question 3, from Brad:
My 18×24 cabin has seen its fair share of “carpenters” through a few changes and additions to the framing and interior. As of this email, I have rebuilt one gable end wall, fixed some framing in the existing wall, a few new rafters, new sheathing, and framed in a new bathroom and loft. The interior of the cabin will be cathedral ceiling with 12’ to the peak.
The structure of the walls are built with 2×4’s and the roof rafters are 2×6’s. With keeping budget, and use in mind, not much is being added to the thickness of the wall or roof framing. Instead, to make up for the lack of space for adequate insulation, Rockwool will be installed and 1.25” poly iso will be added to the entire interior. We are going this route due to the choice of leaving the siding alone for now and addressing that later down the road.
Addressing the lack of insulation in the ceiling, and considering its design of a cathedral ceiling, should venting from soffit to ridge be installed? Should I build a cold roof? Any other type of material in the rafter bays? If I add to the thickness of the rafters, I loose head room in the loft, which isn’t ideal. And as I’m writing this, I should have considered adding thickness to the top of the rafters while the roof was off. This can easily spiral out of control.
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