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jaystanton 10-29-2012 02:18 PM

fiberglass deck - how high up the walls should it go?
Hi there,

I have a new construction townhouse. Part of the top floor is an outdoor fiberglass deck. Whenever we get torrential rains the water seems to be seeping through the stuccoed walls and running beneath the fiberglass floor to leak into the room directly underneath the deck. My question is - how high up the walls does the fiberglass typically go? Am I correct that it only goes up a few inches from the floor or should it cover the whole wall? Trying to find out whether this is due to faulty construction. Secondly, what should I do about these leaky exterior walls around the deck? Might a coat of polyurethane sealer over the walls help?

Many thanks.

nealtw 10-29-2012 03:25 PM

Do you have living space under this deck? I think the decking should run up the wall 6 or 8 inches. I would first take a look at the door leading onto the deck, is it level with the deck or is there a step.

notmrjohn 10-29-2012 04:58 PM

Self flashed fiberglass should extend neal's 6 or 8 inches. The floor of deck itself should be 4 or more inches below interior floors.

Poly sealer over walls will not help. Your going to have to remove some stucco at bottom of wall. Install fiber glass or other flashing up wall 6-8" up behind stucco, bonded to deck floor. 6-8" out. Then do same over stucco to protect it.

You might have to adjust slope of deck. Which could be massive chore.

Please add your location to profile, location plays part in answers that you may not be aware of. For one thing where are you that you get such torrential rains and how often? Is it worthwhile to adjust slope, would a deck cover help, drainage holes, other solutions. Some here may have faced similar problems and be in your area, solved problem or know source of materials or craftsman.

nealtw 10-29-2012 05:30 PM

In new costruction you are more likely to find a poorly installed window or door, especially if there is living space below.

jaystanton 10-30-2012 08:16 PM

Excellent, thanks so much. You're all pretty much hitting the nail on the head. The deck isn't covered; one wall is the master bedroom and where the deck door is. The other 3 walls are just 4-foot balcony type walls. Yep, the deck floor is a few inches lower than the interior floor so you have to step down onto the deck. It's sloped so the water does run out a corner gutter. Yep, there's a bedroom directly under the deck. What happens in a heavy rainfall (especially hurricanes like Irene and Sandy! I'm in Philadelphia, PA) is the water seems to be leaking in around the door, then running down inside the wall to the room underneath where the water drips out around the light switch. Scary, right? When this happens I immediately cut the power to that room of course. The light switch is directly beneath the deck door, same wall one floor down, so I think it's safe to say that's where the leak is happening but I can't be positive. For starters I guess I'll try squirting some silicone all around the deck door.

nealtw 10-30-2012 09:15 PM

If this is new construction there will be a warranty. We also want to make sure that is what it is. The fibreglass should wrap onto the floor under the door and onto the frame work on each side also. If there is attic space above you also want to check for wet insulation above the door.
The door is alway the first suspect a leak anywhere near this area will find it's way down the wall and if it is between the vapour barrier and the house wrap or in the framing it will keep moving down until it runs into the vapour barrier down stairs.
Check into the warrenty and have a look under the door sill and see if the fiberglass goes under the sill.

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