Arts and Crafts: Deck Demo

I need a new deck. Step 1: Get rid of old deck.

Why? The old deck is moss covered, insect infested, rotted in some places and really more of a fire escape than a deck.

Plus, it has so many code violations that it is obvious no county official ever signed off on it.

The flashing on it was improperly installed, letting water collect inside the house and causing significant rot around the door.

The picture above shows the general size. The original has two sets of stairs to the ground. I have already demolished one set. You can see the 4×4’s holding up the “deck”. Guess how those 4×4’s connect to the ground…


They are connected only by resting on a cinder block. Just gravity holding it in place. The other 4x4s are only resting on the ground, no cinder blocks.

The good news is that the rot is all just surface rust. When I replace that door with a larger glass sliding door, I will cut away all the rotted boards and plywood sheets and not need to replace it. All the floor joists and band boards behind the ledger board are in good condition. No rot, water saturation or insects. I am sure some of then are living in that space below the floor, since it has been open to the elements for YEARS.

The ledger board is held on with modern construction screws that are just right for that application and the deck joists were attached using metal joist hangers, attached with 1 1/2″ galvanized nails. But they used them in the “toe nail” holes that drive in at an angle, so they give no strength to the joint. They needed to be longer nails. The short ones are only good for driving in straight.

The 4x4s are mostly salvageable. Most of the rest of the wood is not. It’s a shame I can’t burn it. It is a whole winter’s worth of wood. I can’t burn it because it is saturated with water, but also because it is pressure treated, with means, it is infused with arsenic. Burn it and risk poisoning yourself. So, it has to go to the land fill.

EDIT: Not so fast. I just removed the ledger board and under the rubber flashing was significant insect damage to the outside band boards on the house. This will need to be replaced to make a solid foundation for the new deck ledger board.

About No One

I am totally non-threatening
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4 Responses to Arts and Crafts: Deck Demo

  1. Ame says:

    yeah … too bad you have to trash all that wood.

    so, do you enjoy that shower that you re-tiled about a jillion times?!!!


  2. Og says:

    Well, crap. Still, when you finish it will be done properly.
    I put a small deck on my last place, and after flashing I spaced it out from the house at 16: intervals with 1″ long pieces of 1/2″ PVC pipe and galvanized fender washers, to keep the wood from touching the house. The deck planking almost filled that 1″ gap, but I left enough space for rain to run out. it’s there now 22 years and solid as ever, so it must have worked OK. Sucks about the PT stuff. I have to keep the locals here from throwing PT wood on their campfires. Maybe I should stop stopping them,.


  3. Pingback: Arts and Crafts: New Deck, Part 1. |

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