How to Waterproof a Deck Over a Living Space: The Ultimate Guide

If you have a deck over a living space, then you know how important it is to ensure the area stays dry and waterproofed.

Not only does this help keep your family comfortable and safe, but it also helps protect your home from water damage.

How to Waterproof a Deck Over a Living Space

The good news is that waterproofing a deck over a living space with the right materials and techniques can be done quickly and easily.

In this article, we will show you how to waterproof a deck over a living space in six simple steps so you can rest assured knowing that your family’s safety and comfort are protected.

Why It’s Important to Waterproof a Deck Over a Living Space?

Waterproofing your deck over living space is important because it prevents water from seeping into the structure of your home and causing damage.

It also helps keep the area dry and moisture-free, which reduces the risk of mold and mildew growth on your deck and in your home.

Additionally, waterproofing your deck can help increase its lifespan and reduce the risk of expensive repairs.

If your deck is not properly waterproofed, it can become warped or cracked over time due to exposure to moisture and other elements.

Choosing The Best Waterproofing Deck Materials

  • PVC Decking: PVC decking is an excellent choice for waterproofing a deck over a living space. It’s highly durable, resists scratches and staining, and is easy to clean and maintain. Plus, it won’t rot or warp due to exposure to water.
  • Wooden Decking: While wooden decking is not as waterproof as PVC, it can still be treated with a sealant to make it more resistant to water damage. When selecting the type of wood for your deck, choose rot and decay-resistant such as cedar or redwood.
Wooden Decking
  • Rubber Deck Membrane: Rubber membranes are designed specifically for waterproofing decks over living spaces. They are easy to install, require minimal maintenance, and can last up to 20 years if properly installed.
  • Composite Decking: Composite decking is a mix of wood and plastic. It’s extremely durable and can handle water without warping or rotting, making it an ideal choice for waterproofing decks over living areas. If the deck is exposed to a lot of moisture, then it’s best to choose one with a high plastic content for maximum water resistance.

How to Waterproof a Deck Over a Living Space: Step-by-Step Procedure

Step 1: Gathering your materials and tools

Before you begin, ensure you have all the necessary materials and tools for waterproofing your deck. This includes a roller and brush, sealant, PVC or composite boards, screws, safety gear, rubber membrane (if using), etc.

Step 2: Clean the surface

Start by cleaning the deck thoroughly using a pressure washer or scrub brush and soapy water. Remove any dirt, debris, or mildew from the surface to ensure it is clean before starting. If the surface is damaged, use a putty knife or wire brush to remove loose debris.

Step 3: Sealing the deck

Once it has been cleaned and dried, apply a sealant to the entire surface of the deck. This will help protect it from moisture and other elements that can cause damage over time. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when applying the sealant.

Sealing the Deck

Step 4: Installing the boards

Next, install your PVC or composite boards on top of the deck. Ensure you have pre-drilled pilot holes into each board before installing them with screws. 

If you use a rubber membrane for extra waterproofing, you will need to install it over the top of the boards before proceeding.

Step 5: Install the metal flashings

Flashings are important for waterproofing because they stop water from entering around the edges and underneath the deck. 

To install them, simply attach them to the sides of your structure with nails or screws per the manufacturer’s instructions. When installing the flashings, overlap them to create a waterproof barrier.

Step 6: Applying the deck membrane

You can apply your rubber membrane (if using) over the deck. Start by applying it in a corner and rolling it out with a roller to ensure it is securely attached. 

If the area is uneven, use a brush to push the membrane into crevices and corners. Make sure to overlap the seams when applying multiple sections of the membrane.

Step 7: Caulk any seams or cracks

Caulk any seams or cracks in your waterproofing system with an elastomeric sealant. This will help ensure there are no gaps in your waterproofing that can let water seep in. 

Caulk Any Seams or Cracks

You should also check for any nail heads poking through the membrane and caulk them.

Step 8: Apply a final coat of sealant

Apply one more coat of sealant over the entire deck for added protection against water damage. 

When adding the sealant, cover all edges of the deck. Allow it to dry completely before testing the waterproofing system.

You have successfully waterproofed your deck over a living space. 

With proper maintenance and regular check-ins, you can ensure that your deck will remain dry and watertight for years.

5 Things to Consider When Waterproofing a Deck

1. Adding the Right Flashing Around Your Deck:

Flashing should be installed where two different materials meet, such as between your deck boards and the house wall. Additionally, ensure all caps and siding are fully secured to prevent water from seeping in.

2. Installing the Proper Slope:

When waterproofing a deck, it is important to ensure that it has the proper slope – usually 1/8 inch per foot – so that the water can run off the deck and away from your home. This will also help prevent pooling on the surface of your deck.

3. Using Quality Waterproofing Products:

Using quality waterproofing products is essential when waterproofing a deck. Look for products that have been designed to withstand harsh outdoor conditions and are specifically made to protect wood or composite decks from water damage.

Using Quality Waterproofing Products

4. Proper Drainage Has to Be Installed:

If your deck is high off the ground, you must ensure proper drainage is installed so that any water can be diverted away from your home. You should also consider installing a gutter system if there is no existing one to avoid any potential flooding issues with your deck. A French drain can be used if the deck is low to the ground.

5. Regular Maintenance Is Required:

Waterproofing your deck does not guarantee its longevity forever; regular maintenance will be required to keep it in top condition.

Make sure to inspect the surface of your deck regularly for any cracks or damage that could allow water to seep through and cause further damage.

Additionally, make sure the sealant is reapplied every few years or as recommended by the manufacturer.

Additional Tips and Advice For A Leak-Proof Deck:

1. Make sure that all gaps between boards are securely sealed with caulk.

2. Consider using a waterproof membrane under the surface of your deck for extra protection against water damage.

3. Use stainless steel screws and nails to help keep your deck from rotting over time due to water exposure.

4. If you plan on installing a hot tub or other fixtures on your deck, make sure to install a waterproof barrier between the fixture and the deck surface.

5. Be sure to check the weather forecast before starting any work on your deck, as high winds or heavy rain can make it difficult to properly waterproof the area.

6. Regularly inspect the deck for any cracks or damage that could cause leaks and repair them promptly.

7. Make sure that all drains and gutters on your property are regularly maintained, as they can become clogged and cause water to pool on the surface of your deck.

By following these tips on how to waterproof a deck over a living space, you’ll be able to ensure that your deck is properly protected and will last for years to come. 

A waterproof deck requires a significant amount of time and effort, but with the right materials and regular maintenance, it can be done!

How Long Does It Take To Waterproof A Deck?

Waterproofing a deck can take anywhere from two days to a few weeks depending on the size and scope of the project.

If you are having a professional waterproofing your deck, it is important to discuss the expected timeline with them beforehand to make sure that you get an accurate estimate of when it will be completed.

How Long Does It Take To Waterproof A Deck

If you are tackling your deck waterproofing project yourself, it is important to plan and make sure that you have enough time to do the job properly. You will need to clean and prepare the deck surface before applying any sealant or stain.

This includes repairing any damage that has been done to the wood and sanding down rough areas. Once this preparation is complete, you will need to apply waterproofing sealant or stain.

Depending on the type of product used and the size of your deck, this process can take anywhere from two days to a few weeks.

Finally, after completing your waterproofing project, you will need to wait for the sealant or stain to dry before using your deck. Depending on the product and temperature, this can take up to 48 hours.

What Is The Cost To Waterproof A Deck? 

The cost of waterproofing a deck can vary depending on the size and scope of the project. Professional sealers typically charge between $2.50 to $4.00 per square foot for labor, materials, and clean-up costs.

Waterproof A Deck Costing

Additionally, if you decide to tackle your deck waterproofing yourself, you will need to factor in the cost of any materials needed, such as sealants or stains.

Overall, waterproofing a deck can be a costly endeavor, but it is also necessary to maintain your deck and prevent it from being damaged by water.

Investing in waterproofing now can save you money in the long run by preventing expensive repairs in the future. If possible, carefully research and shop for the best prices on materials and supplies you need for your project.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the best waterproof deck over living space?

The best waterproof deck over living space is one that is designed and installed with professional expertise to ensure a long-lasting, watertight seal. The ideal decking material should be durable enough to withstand extreme weather conditions while offering excellent value for money.

Popular materials used for waterproof decks include PVC membrane systems, aluminum sheet paneling, and multi-layer waterproofing systems. It is important to consult a professional contractor to get the best advice on materials and installation for your particular situation.

Is it better to stain or seal a deck?

It is generally recommended to seal a deck with an oil- or water-based sealer. Sealing your deck will help protect it from wear and tear and the elements while preserving its aesthetic appearance. Staining a deck is more of a decorative choice than a protective one, as stain offers very little protection against UV rays and moisture damage.

Can you waterproof a wood deck?

Yes, it is possible to waterproof a wood deck using specialized products such as penetrating sealers and multi-layer systems. The type of product used will depend on the type of material that the deck is made from, so be sure to consult a professional contractor for advice before beginning any project. Additionally, regular maintenance, such as cleaning and resealing, will help to protect your deck and prolong its life.

Should you waterproof the underside of a deck? 

Yes, it is important to waterproof the underside of a deck to protect it from water damage. This can be done by using a variety of waterproofing products such as membranes, sheet paneling, and multi-layer systems.

It is recommended to consult a professional contractor before attempting any type of waterproofing project. If the deck is not waterproofed properly, it can result in serious damage to the structure and surrounding property.

Final Words

Congratulations! Now that you know how to waterproof a deck over a living space, you can create a safe and attractive outdoor area that won’t leak water into your home.

For best results, always follow manufacturer instructions and use high- materials. With some patience and the right supplies, you can easily waterproof your deck over a living space and enjoy it for years to come.

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