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Old 09-16-2016, 10:57 AM   #1
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Issue with deck flashing. How concerned should I be?


A contractor recently made repairs to my deck. The deck support posts and beams were replaced as well as the deck flooring. There was an issue I noticed later with the deck flooring closest to the house. They left a wide gap between the flooring and ledger than what I had before and I was concerned about water damage. I had the contractor come back to fix as well as to add flashing above the ledger since the deck apparently never had it.

I believe my deck is approximately 20 years old. I've lived here about 14 years. The ledger boards (there are 2 ledgers that expand 16 ft) were bolted to the house over the old masonite siding. I had vinyl siding installed 5 years ago over the existing siding, which extends down to the deck floor. My deck did not have a drip cap above the ledger, so I had ordered this deck ledger flashing for the contractor to install when they came back to replace the deck flooring at ledger...

https://www.amazon.com/AMERIMAX-PROD.../dp/B000FCIO7Y

The contractor installed the plastic drip caps over the ledger and then also installed vinyl liner above the drip cap as another water barrier, since i was concerned about the plastic drip cap maybe cracking or breaking over time. Although this one has decent reviews and seems strong and durable.

I did check behind them after the work was done. I crawled part way under my deck and shined a flashlight to look at the drip cap and vinyl liner where it extended past the ledger and what I saw looked god. My deck is really low to the ground so difficult to maneuver under.

A few days later I was inspecting the deck flooring and was concerned that the deck screws were possibly going through the drip cap. It seemed like some screws were placed very close to the ledger. So I crawled under the deck and sure enough, I did see where one screw is going through the drip cap at the very edge of the drip cap at the joist. I was able to see that one because the deck flooring there was slightly raised at that spot and could see in between the floor board and joist. I'm not sure if there are other screws going into the drip cap, but I'm fairly certain that there are at least two or three that do. Looks like most of the screws for that floor board are within 1/8in from the ledger based on my measurements, so its close. But those are based on measurements I took under the deck from the ledger to the end of the first floor board (across the width) then measuring above the deck from the screw to the edge on the first floor board. Cant do a visual.

I also noticed while inspecting under the deck, that there is about a 20in section along the 16 ft span on the ledger, where the drip edge of the plastic deck ledger flashing doesn't properly hang over the ledger (comes within 1/8in from the edge of ledger). This is where the two ledgers meet. It seems that the second ledger there is slightly lower and sticks out slightly more than the other, so when the drip cap reached the other ledger it didn't overlap properly for about a 20 inch section, after that its all good. I tried to pry it over the ledger with a screw driver but its not really budging and I don't want to risk breaking it. The drip edge there is sitting flush on top of the ledger so it would probably be difficult for water to penetrate, but I did apply a layer of silicone just in case. Here is a pic of what I am referring too...



It's difficult to see but the drip edge is about 1/8in shy of overlapping the ledger and its a tight fit so can't pry it over without risk of damaging it. There is vinyl liner that runs all the way across above the deck ledger flashing (its difficult to see in this photo cause of the angle). This is affecting about a 20in section between two joists.

Here is how it looks for the rest of the deck with it overlapping properly...



How concerning is it to have some screws penetrating the drip cap and then this 20in section with the drip edge not overlapping properly? I'm a little obsessive about possible water damage and rot, but I went from no flashing above the ledger to this. Not sure how much water would actually seep in where the screws are or somehow make it past the vinyl liner, drip over the drip edge of the plastic flashing and seep in between the plastic flashing and ledger where the drip edge doesn't overlap. Seems like a lot of hurdles to go through.

Removing the floor board likely wont be possible without replacing again and the floor board at the ledger had to be cut correctly to fit (its a 2 x 8 cut at an angle since deck was slightly askew). At this point should I let it go or scrap everything and redo the flashing and flooring? Like I said I went from no flashing above the ledger to this so has to be much better than what I had before I would think? I really would hate to call this contractor back for a third time. They already have my money at this point and I doubt they will come back.
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Old 09-22-2016, 11:08 AM   #2
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Re: Issue with deck flashing. How concerned should I be?


Just wanted to check one more time to see if anyone had any opinions about this. Not sure if having a few screws going into the drip cap is a big concern as far as water seeping in and if I should scrap everything and start over. I went from no flashing above the ledger to the plastic drip cap with vinyl liner overlapping as a second barrier, but with a few screws from the deck floor board penetrating the drip cap. It's irritating that they did that but I'm hoping that any amount of water that does manage to seep past the vinyl liner and then in between the screw and drip cap would be insignificant. The floor board closest to the house was cut at an angle to fit properly and would be a pain to try and replace that again too.
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Old 09-24-2016, 10:18 AM   #3
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Re: Issue with deck flashing. How concerned should I be?


The drip cap is probably pvc and anything made in china must be suspected. I use chinese made things, by default, but always suspect the quality, esp not the traditional brand or food containing. PVC will last esp covered from the sun uv light, but it may begin to crack where the nails/screws went through. The vinyl liner you talk about is probably a flashing that's supposed to close around such fasteners. The overhang over the ledger should have been more. As it is, if the overhang should lift, as you suspect, rain can drain and fall into the house. Caulk, esp silicone in that location, will fail. Better fix would be to slip a flashing under the drip cap in that location.
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