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Old 05-16-2012, 07:23 PM   #1
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Deck: gap from 1st deck board to wall

I'm building a new deck. The decking will be composite (Fiberon Ipe). I'm using a ledger, hex-bolted to the house rim joist with a 1/2" washer stack between, so the face of the ledger is about 2" from the house sheathing. Flashing includes Ice&Water behind the ledger and a vinyl Z flashing over the top of the ledger (hand-formed due to the 2" width). The decking layout is herringbone, with a 2 board picture frame all around.

My question relates to where the 1st deck board from the house should be placed. That board is parallel to the house wall (it is part of the picture framing). I don't want to leave a relatively inaccessible channel formed by the flashing on the back and bottom, and the 1st deck board on the outside, for water and crap to collect. But the composite literature says to leave 1/4" from the structure to the 1st board, so I can't close the gap completely. Another alternative is to move the 1st deck board out until there is a gap between it and the ledger (i.e. about 2 1/4" from the house), to let water drain. I worried about how that will look. My house siding stackup is also close to 2" (cedar shakes, then 1/2" foam, and then vinyl siding outside), so the gap won't be huge, but is still sounds very visible, especially when the suggested 1" vertical gap from the deck surface to the bottom of the siding is considered. What have others done here?

I aware of the alternative of a set of saw cuts on the bottom of the 1st deck board to form drainage channels past the ledger/flashing, but I'm worried about cutting away the plastic coating on the composite and exposing the core in a relatively wet area. Has anybody tried that with composite decking?

Thanks in advance,


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Old 05-16-2012, 08:43 PM   #2
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First off, why did you use an air gap?

Reason I ask, is all the reasearch I have done advises against it. I just started to remove my siding to for my Ledgerboard install as well...


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Old 05-16-2012, 08:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by lewisthepilgrim View Post
First off, why did you use an air gap?

Reason I ask, is all the reasearch I have done advises against it. I just started to remove my siding to for my Ledgerboard install as well...

what information is that. by creating the air space you air to get behind the ledger so it can dry out, as long as the gap is created properly via small blocks behind it so the ledger cant sag theres no issue at all

as for starting the decking against the house...... start at the outside edge and set your 1" nosing then work your way in towards.. this way if you end up with a ripped piece its at the house.. but yes keep the 1/4" gap off the house so to allow for better drainage
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