The Story of the Three Waterproof Decks

When there are so many products to choose from for your outdoor living space, it might seem a little intimidating to make your product choices. Especially when some of the options are so completely different in cost, installation recommendations and maintenance requirements. The bottom line is that you want your deck to last, and to ensure a long life for your deck or balcony it needs to have protection from the elements.

The critical detail of deck waterproofing should not be overlooked. Not only does it protect your deck, but it also protects the building envelope where deck meets wall. Cutting corners or taking short cuts at the inside perimeter of your deck almost always guarantees you will have problems down the road; or at least certainly reduces the effective lifetime of your waterproofing system.

Here we take a look at 3 very different deck systems, with 3 very different waterproofing solutions.  A common scenario in building product selection that is somewhat reminiscent of a nursery rhyme, one offers too little, one offers too much….and one is juuuust right!

Too Little Effort for a Waterproof Deck

Take for example this deck waterproofing system that relies on caulking at the inside perimeter of a composite deck. A professional waterproofing specialist would not recommend or perform this method as it almost guarantees the home owner will have leak issues. And as the video demonstration continues to explain, this method can be a very messy and you must properly account for that factor as you proceed with the project.

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Even when going up against brick or stucco, a Duradek professional will make sure the job is done right. For example, take a look at Duradek-Tiledek Case History #143 where the Duradek installer refused to install the Tiledek waterproofing membrane until the project’s contractor agreed  to incur the cost to remove the lowest level of  brick to allow the membrane to be run up the vertical surface for proper waterproofing.

On this stucco balcony in Duradek Case History #148, the Duradek installer used his ingenuity and skill to recycle a previous membrane by heat-welding to the new Duradek membrane being installed so that the waterproofing up the vertical wall of the balcony remained intact without having to remove any of the recently added stucco which would otherwise have been required for adequate waterproofing.

Too Much Effort for a Waterproof Deck

While at Duradek we commend efforts to ensure reliable waterproofing is in place, sometimes contractors over-complicate matters by designing complex, multi-stage structures that use more material and take more time to install than is really necessary. This occurs often in the case of roof decks where contractors turn to traditional roofing materials. Yes, roof grade waterproofing is important, but so is having an attractive deck surface with a reasonable lifetime cost.

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In this example, a very complex, multi-stage system is used which requires much more time, material and patience than some alternatives! There are troughs, extra joists, additional cut-outs placed within the joists, roofing tar, rubber epdm, custom drain pans and more. After all of this, the roof deck is still at the foundation stage and you have yet to even begin to install the deck’s walking surface.

Ahhhh…Roof Deck Waterproofing Done Just Right!

The Duradek system of waterproofing roof decks is the simplest, most reliable way of bringing roof grade waterproof protection to your decking projects. With ICC approval as a roofing membrane AND a pedestrian traffic surface, Duradek provides it all in one single-ply application. Duradek is best installed on a simple, sloped, untreated plywood surface, but can also be installed on concrete or coated surfaces. (See Duradek’s substrate requirements for details). Installed exclusively by trained and authorized applicators that are familiar with the intricate details involved in deck waterproofing, Duradek brings waterproof peace-of-mind and performance that often well exceeds its 10-year waterproofing warranty (increased to a 15-year warranty in June 2019).

The real beauty of the Duradek system is that once Duradek is installed, there is no maintenance required to the deck surface. Your waterproofing is always intact and the deck’s appearance stands up to the elements better than most alternatives.  No sanding, staining, re-coating required…ever! All Duradek requires is an occasional cleaning and annual inspection that will mostly serve to remind you that your deck material decision was definitely the right one.

To give yourself a fairy tale perfect roof deck, call a Duradek installer in your area for a free consultation.

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