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Old 10-23-2012, 10:40 PM   #1
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Flat Roof Deck System Questions


Just bought a 1905 house with several small parapet roofs over appendages. Need help understanding the best materials for these as some we'd like to make decks. Yes, the load bearing is there. The existing deck rails are more for show that anything, but how should deck posts make their way through the decking/roofing materials?
One guy wants to do a pvc membrane that you can walk on... a pebbly looking bumpy finish for slip. Does anyone have experience with walk on pvc roofing materials like this? I know the craftsmanship on the install is very important but I'm really worried about the penetrations where all these deck posts have to go through to the framing. How do they make a good long term seal? Any place I can go for suggested detail drawings and instructions for how to wrap these posts? Are there special fittings that are made?
I also saw a post on a sister site talking about putting rigid insulation over the pvc roof and then sleepers on top of that. It was posted in 2007. I would love to know how that turned out!

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by dayj2610; 10-23-2012 at 10:42 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:34 AM   #2
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Flat Roof Deck System Questions


Read this before you read my reply, http://www.reliableamerican.us/artic...d_to_know.html

We deal with this alot in the Chicago market, infact I just posted these pics yesterday... https://www.honestbuildings.com/proj.../#.UIf6eIYfhjc of one we recently completed.


The roof is the first place you start, PLEASE oh PLEASE do not install a new deck on an old roof. Furthermore Please Oh Please do not install a new deck on a "regular roof" the roof must be designed for the deck. Finally opt for the most longevity on the roofing system that you can afford. Ask yourself, do you want to tear up this perfectly good deck which cost you thousands of dollars to fix the roof which wasn't done right in the first place? It happens ALL the time!

People buy the bling, they go as cheap as they can on the roof and then build a rolls royce deck only to have to throw away the rolls royce to repair or replace their datsun roof. It's ok to buy the bling, but the investment of the roof is even more important than the deck.


Deck grade pvc is becoming the norm. In the long run this will be the cheapest method of achieving your goal of a roof deck. With proper prep work and proper protection against furniture this should work out fine.

Why would the deck posts go theough the roof? The deck posts can be secured, if necessary, to the parapet walls. This will be much more practical with less chance for leakage. But then again if you go with the pvc deck grade material, you wouldn't have deck posts, would you? Most roof decks built in the Chicago area are simply floating on the roof, meaning nothing is holding them down except gravity. But wraping the posts isn't a difficult thing to do, a skilled roofer canb easily do this. MY suggestion is then to wrap the post with trim board, because the cheap chitty 4x4 on the market tend to crack allowing water into the wood, then the water gets behind the wrap and that's not good. I think your idea of tie-ing in your deck framing to the house framing is flawed IMO.


The purpose of the rigid insulation over the roof membrane is because the deck should never be in contact with the water proofing membrane (the roof). This is generally what you will see in my area, the deck floats on the roof, and there are pads of some kind between the deck and the roof.
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Sometimes the savings that comes from doing it yourself can be blown away with one mistake.

The information found in this post is not to be considered legal advice. All information should be considered relative, not specific. Never attempt any repairs you are not comfortable with. Always maintain safety! The author of this post takes no responsibility for any losses that occur. Use at your own risk.
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