DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Framing and Foundation > Tearing up ground level deck to deal with drainage issues at rear of house





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Old 06-18-2013, 12:18 PM  
swindmill
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I got the deck up and realized the deck isn't attached to the house, which I should have assumed, but it changes my plans a bit. Because the structure goes down so low, I can't grade away from the foundation and lay plastic. The only way I can see this being possible is if I were to put a retaining wall where the edge of the deck meets the patio now. Any thoughts or ideas on what I should do would be appreciated.

I included the other picture to show an old drainage pipe of some sort that is sticking out of the ground near the foundation. This is an addition, so that would have been about 10 feet from the original foundation. I currently have all PVC drainage lines, so I'm assuming that whatever this is, isn't connected to anything. I thought it was odd that it was open. If I look down at it, it turns down to the left with no blockage. Thoughts? (The white thing to the left looks like it broke off the top of that drainage opening. House was built about 1900)





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Old 06-18-2013, 01:23 PM  
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So the deck is sitting on the 2x10 that is not rated to be contact with the ground? Get some hooks, chain and some turnbuckles and chain the AC unit to the roof rafters and lift it off the deck and pull the frame of the deck out of the way.



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Old 06-18-2013, 01:24 PM  
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I'm replying to my own post as I think...but, one thought I've had is to run the plastic between the joists and the rear deck foundation, which sits mostly under the dirt. I'm pretty sure I could do this if removed the nails that are toenailed from the joists to the deck foundation. Maybe cut through there with a reciprocating saw. With that loosened up, I could slide the plastic between there and it could run from the foundation to the patio. One weakness would be the screws that I'd have to toenail back through the plastic, but I'd think the water through there would be negligible.

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Old 06-18-2013, 01:26 PM  
swindmill
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Originally Posted by nealtw View Post
So the deck is sitting on the 2x10 that is not rated to be contact with the ground? Get some hooks, chain and some turnbuckles and chain the AC unit to the roof rafters and lift it off the deck and pull the frame of the deck out of the way.
I really wouldn't know if it's rated that way or not, although I'm guessing you would. It appears to be regular pressure treated. I could probably dig out the dirt that's in contact with it.

EDIT: There are 4x4's in the ground with concrete holding those 2x's.

It looks like they constructed it and then put the dirt right back.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:52 PM  
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I'm learning about deck structure as I go here, my deck structure in particular. What I've found is that there are 4x4's approx. every 6 feet with 2x8's bolted to them. The 4x4s are held in the ground with cement, but it appears that after the 2x8s were bolted to the 4x4, concrete was then poured around the 4x4, locking the 2x8 in with it, if that makes sense. Here's a picture below. I tried to rinse off the concrete so you can see it, but didn't have much luck. There is basically an ~18" radius of concrete around each 4x4 and the 2x8s are set in the concrete as well. I can dig the dirt up that touches the 2x8s, but it would be an enormous amount of work (which I'll do if I should).

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Old 06-18-2013, 03:14 PM  
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Without knowing what rating was bought it would be hard to tell. Usually anything rated for underground or ground contact has been incised for better penitration of the treatment. Incising is the knife cuts that you will usual find on all sides of the 4x4s and 6x6s.
The deck is way underbuilt, a single 2x8 is not enough and no beam at the other end, even Mickey Mouse would frown.
If I was coming to do this job This what I would do.
Find a way to lift the AC up a little and leave it more or less in place.
Disconnect the deck from the 2x8 in the ground and the outer post, grab a few friends and drag it back out of the way.
Dig out the trench along the house and repair or install the drain that is needed there. Bolt a treated 4x6 to the concrete wall at the 1/4" above the level of the 2x8 is now, back fill this only with 3/4 grushed gravel almost to the level of the 2x8. Add another drain in the center of the deck area and reshape the soil so the drain is at the lowest of that area cover that area with 6 mil poly and 1" of the same gravel
I would leave the 2x8 in place to hold the dirt back but it will rot over time so I would just cover it with the poly so rot dosn't get to the other wood.
Get your friends back to set the deck back in place and it will sit on the 4x6 at the the house, bolt it back onto the post on the outer end but then add another 2x8 to the ouside to make that strong enough and add galvinized hangers there for the joists if they are not there now.

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Old 06-18-2013, 04:10 PM  
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I think I follow all of that and I agree that's probably the best I can do without tearing it all out and starting over. When you say 'add another 2x8 to the outside', are you referring to the 2x8 that faces the patio? Bolt a second one to that?

Another idea that's sounding pretty good right now is to tear everything out and just continue the paver patio all the way up to the house. Although, that would leave me with needing a couple steps up to the door, which I'm not a fan of.

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Old 06-18-2013, 04:29 PM  
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Yes the out side should have been a double or there should have been a double under the joists but the way it is, the joist should be in hangers that are rated for treated lumber. Changing to pavers might be a good idea, but there is a lot more prep work, removing soil, replacing it with gravel and compacting. I like a raised deck my self, I find stairs down to deck makes it feel less like it's part of the house and tends to get used less.

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Old 06-18-2013, 04:40 PM  
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I put the existing patio in myself, and in fact, that may have been the first thing I posted about on here several years ago. I used a shovel and wheel barrow to remove 8" of soil from the entire area and then the same to put the 6" of gravel in it's place. I told myself I'd never do that much work myself again. Work aside, I agree that stairs from a patio directly to the door is very undesirable.

I'll add the 2x8 to my list of lumber to order and pick up some joist hangers and all the drainage material that I need. Nothing is ever easy....

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Old 06-27-2013, 01:26 PM  
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Default vinyl membrane deck

You've got some good info here but one thing that wasn't mentioned, except by you, was to change the deck type to a sold surface.
You mentioned putting plastic down under the deck but as you correctly noted there would be holes in that when you relayed the deck.
An option is to put a solid plywood deck down and cover it with a vinyl membrane. This would give you the full drainage away from the house that you want. Not sure if you would want the look of a solid deck surface but it is easy to maintain too. Check out this website: http://www.duradek.com/vinyl-decking/
Disclaimer: I have no connection or financial interest in this product.

Dave Mason



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