Why are Deck Inspections and Waterproofing Inspections important?

Deck Inspections can save you thousands of dollars in additional repairs caused by leaky decks and water damage!

“All Deck Coatings Fail” is a bold and honest response from Waterproofing Industry Leader Ron McKenna, President and Founder of Decktech, Inc., when asked if a deck coating application will last for life of structure if installed correctly.

All deck coatings need regular maintenance to make them last as long as possible.

Since our specialty has been rectifying failed deck coating assemblies for over 30 years now, our thorough deck inspections find and reveal issues with existing deck coatings on balcony decks, tile decks, staircases, or porches before water damage has been done to a home. Our years of experience and training gives us the ability to find and detect issues most homeowners, contractors, or other decking companies miss.

Typically, a potential customer will notify us by phone or email and indicate a specific problem they are having with a deck or stairs. Usually the customer will comment they noticed tiles lifting at stair step, or noticed cracks, ugly rust spots or fractures in the deck coating and would like to have it repaired. The problem with this is, water damage has probably already occurred because the deck coating has allowed water to leak underneath it. This usually means additional repair costs due to the fact that the underlying water damage has to be fixed as well as the deck coating fixed or replaced.

For example, we just recently we had a call from customer who said his stair coating on the front porch of his residence appeared to be soft in spot’s and requested an appointment for us to perform a deck inspection. When asked if there were other deck coatings used anywhere else not he home, he commented “YES” but they don’t have any problems.

This is a typical reply by most customers and as deck coating experts we ask this question because most deck coatings are typically installed at the same time on entire structure by the same applicator or deck coating contractor. Usually if one area is failing due to deficiencies or improper installations, it will be replicated throughout other areas of the structure where deck coatings are used.

Once we performed the inspection we found the deck coating on the front porch was totally failed because of improper installation. After explaining and showing the client why it happened and how we would fix it correctly with a more modern and proven deck coating, he asked us to inspect his back deck while we were there. The back decks was not as bad as the front porch, but we found some very early stages of deck and waterproofing failure. Since we caught the damage early enough, some basic repairs and some badly needed deck maintenance prevented a lot of costly water damage repairs in the future for the client.

We have explained how important deck inspections are and how they can save you a lot of money in water damage, lets go over what we typically are looking for during our deck inspections.

Let’s narrow down the deck inspection process to Stair Assemblies for this article because deck coatings on stairs tend to fail more than any other area.

The photos below show some typical stair case failures and our remedy to rectify them.

Why do coatings fail on stairs more than any other place on a deck?

  • Stair framing is often much more difficult than standard deck framing and adequate pitch at treads is abandon to shed water. So stairs typically pond or hold water.
  • Stairs often have inadequate ventilation underneath them which is conducive to dry-rot fungus damage.
  • Stairs usually have little or no access under them for adequate inspections and often overlooked.
  • Stucco stairs often have deficient terminations with railing and deck coating assemblies.
  • Hand railing connections often penetrate stair framing and are overlooked for adequate flashing details. These penetrations often leak.
  • Stairs generally have more usage than any other area of deck coating assembly, therefore tend to wear more.

While inspecting projects with stairs the first step is to systematically go through the above items and identify any potential deficiency or breach in surrounding areas which can create failure. These items in most cases all lead to complete failure and substantial repairs.

The deck coating inspection should initially provide proper inspection first of immediate troublesome areas, but also inspect all coating assemblies at structure as well since they will likely have replicated issues with railing impacts, stucco/siding terminations or poor framing. The deck coating inspection will likely identify issues easily overlooked by homeowner with untrained eye and could save you from extensive repairs by catching adverse deck problems at infancy stage with less intrusive repair.

In conclusion, if you are experiencing some noticeable issues with your deck or stair coating, it is time to call DeckTech, Inc. and get a free deck inspection. Contact us online or call us at (805) 250-4498 today!

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