Deck ledger/carriage bolt question
I definitely would prefer to use the bolts and not screws, and I am quite sure that the code requires it.
I spoke with the "experts" at the building centre regarding flashing and they told me that their design guidelines only require flashing for installation against siding and not against brick. I was surprised to hear that myself. But on the other hand, I can't see an advantage to flashing when the wood abuts the brick. With siding, it makes sense to me that the flashing goes under the flap of siding above and gives the water a path to follow. Against brick, you either have to caulk along the top of the flashing and pray, or caulk along the top of the ledger itself and pray.
Actually, my opinion is that the best thing we can do is throw a few washers between the ledger and the brick so that the wood is a few mm off the brick surface and there will be nowhere for water to sit and rot the ledger from the backside-out.
I am reluctant to design for a freestanding deck. The house is a serious structure that I think we should take advantage of. This thing was built in the heydey of real construction. The bricks are structural, not decorative and are fully doubled (8 inches thick maybe?) and the interior joist is 3 inches thick.
To me, the only cause for worry from attaching to the house is the possibility of water getting into the walls through the bolt holes. To avoid this, we plan to completely fill the holes with (I can't remember the name of the product, but it is meant to bond metal to brick - it is essentially concrete) before putting the bolts through.
I have read lots of opinions that ledger boards are a bad idea, but its seems mostly to stem from the troubles associated with rotting wood, and mostly when a deck is bolted to a framed house with siding, or with veneer bricks. Am I wrong in thinking that bolting a ledger to an actual brick structure is more feasible than when you are dealing with newer homes and flimsy siding etc?
edit to add:
This is a second level deck, we are talking 15 feet up. Building freestanding at that height opens a whole new can of structural worms, no?
Last edited by colaminecanary; 07-30-2007 at 12:36 PM.