In spite of the fact that your deck is not high enough off the ground for you to consider using the space underneath as a storage area, the truth is the space constitutes an excellent location for storing garden or lawn equipment. While your first instinct would be to waterproof the newly found storage space from above, take note that this action will affect the natural beauty of your wooden deck.
A far better alternative implies building a self-draining ceiling to keep moisture at bay and placing a storage bin to protect your equipment from dew and windblown drops of rain. Here are the steps you should take to create a dry and safe storage space under the deck.
- Determine how much waterproof material you need
Measure the size of your deck to establish the correct amount of waterproof materials you will need for your project. Don’t forget to account for the support joists and remember to measure the width between them in order to determine how much flashing you need to purchase. In the event that you are unable to determine the appropriate amount of materials, then don’t hesitate to use the estimating tools provided on the specialized retailers’ websites.
- Verify the deck’s level and mark the draining pitch
The main reason why you need to check out the deck’s level is to make sure you’re placing the draining pitch in an optimal location. In other words, this is the precise angle at which the under-deck ceiling needs to be installed so that water is properly draining away from the house. As a rule of thumb, maintain one inch of downward slope for each ten feet of deck running from the house.
- Install the flashing
After you’ve determined the correct draining pitch, you can proceed to attaching the under-deck water diverter at the predetermined angle. It is important to put a line of caulking putty at each spot where the joists meet to account for the expansion and contraction of the materials used. Moreover, caulking putty will prevent cracking over the years and will create an air and watertight environment with limited heat loss.
- Connect the ceiling panels
Before you install the ceiling panels, you need to place the joist rails and fasten them with galvanized stainless steel screws, ideally one at every three feet. Once the joist rails are in place, it will be easier to attach the ceiling panels by sliding them along the rails. It is important to ensure the ceiling panels maintain a central bend for adequate drainage.
- Put in the joists and boundary gutters
Because you want to divert rainwater away from your home and the under-deck storage space, it is recommended to install joist gutters onto the end of the edge beam. In addition, to effectively eliminate water accumulated in the joist gutters, you should connect two boundary gutters at the edges of the deck. Since you want them in place through hell and high water, you should invest in quality bolts that can withstand extreme conditions.
Started my career in the fastener world in 1969 at, Parker Kalon Corp. a NJ based screw manufacturer located in Clifton, NJ working in inventory control, scheduling secondary production and concluding there in purchasing. In 1971 I accepted a sales position at Star Stainless Screw Co., Totowa, NJ working in inside sales and later as an outside salesman, having a successful career at Star I had the desire with a friend to start our own fastener distribution company in 1980 named: Divspec, Kenilworth, NJ. This was a successful adventure but ended in 1985 with me starting Melfast in August 1985 and have stayed competitive and successful to date. Melfast serves the OEM market with approximately 400 accounts nationally.