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Old 02-22-2017, 10:27 AM  
professional_amateur
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Default Looking for ideas for finishing a rubber membrane rooftop deck

So my wife and I purchased an updated but older farmhouse this past August, and we're gearing up for Springtime renovations. One of the first projects I'd like to tackle is finishing the deck that our master bedroom walks out to.

The insurance company needs to see a railing there before we can use it as a deck, but quite honestly I think it needs a bit more than just a railing to feel complete.

We live in northern Vermont, and get between 4-7 feet of snow every winter, so it's no question why the previous owner laid down rubberized membrane to keep water from seeping into the flat roof. However, black rubberized flooring for a deck is freaking ugly, and dirties your shoes/feet.

I think that framing out a wooden floor will be too heavy. The deck is sturdy enough, but I worry about all that lumber plus snow - which we do shovel, but still... the weight may just be a bit too much.

I'm looking for other suggestions for the deck flooring. I'm very new to this type of renovation, so I'm not really sure what to look for. I've attached two pics for your viewing pleasure, as well! Thanks in advance.


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Old 02-22-2017, 10:53 AM  
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First off the rubber membrane is never intended to be any kind of a deck surface not used for foot traffic setting chairs on etc. It is not up to snow shoveling and I would advise moving the ladder and when you do need to use it place something like plywood under the legs.

The big question is what’s below the rubber type of sheathing and thickness what are the joist size and span and center distance. how are the outside walls of the room below framed.

If those specs are good enough then you can think about how to best put a foot traffic surface on top of it.

Welcome to the forum. Nice first post.


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Old 02-22-2017, 12:59 PM  
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Are there rooms below or is this just a deck?
Do you step down on to the roof when going out the door?
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Old 02-22-2017, 03:27 PM  
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sounds more like a roof, not necessarily a deck at all. I guess the previous owners put a door there, but it's not right.
It can be made into a deck, but, as you can see, there are a lot of questions to be answered.
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Old 02-22-2017, 03:33 PM  
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sounds more like a roof, not necessarily a deck at all. I guess the previous owners put a door there, but it's not right.
It can be made into a deck, but, as you can see, there are a lot of questions to be answered.
It depends on what the builder of the deck had in mind and maybe just ran out of money.
We see a lot of concrete covered decks over wood structure and the rubber is just one type of membrane that is used to waterproof the structure.
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Old 02-24-2017, 01:16 PM  
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Thanks for all the feedback. To answer Bud's question - I am not sure what lies beneath the membrane yet. I'm saving that for after the snow melts in the late Spring.

Nealtw - There is a mudroom/entry way room below half of the deck's surface, the outer half is merely a roof for car port / front porch area. There is a slight step down onto the root - an inch at most. I doubt there is concrete below the membrane but I would be interested to find out.

So assuming that there is a sturdy base underneath the membrane what would be my best choice? I don't believe I can build over the rubber but I do need a something that will keep water from leaking into the house when the deck/roof is covered in snow.
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Old 02-24-2017, 01:25 PM  
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If you go into the carport area you will see the joists and you can measure them and how far apart they are and above them you will see some plywood you pressed board as the sheathing . That’s what I was asking about. Also, is there a beam down the center, how many posts etc.? all that will tell us the strength of the roof now and it will hold a deck.
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Old 02-24-2017, 01:28 PM  
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Thanks for all the feedback. To answer Bud's question - I am not sure what lies beneath the membrane yet. I'm saving that for after the snow melts in the late Spring.

Nealtw - There is a mudroom/entry way room below half of the deck's surface, the outer half is merely a roof for car port / front porch area. There is a slight step down onto the root - an inch at most. I doubt there is concrete below the membrane but I would be interested to find out.

So assuming that there is a sturdy base underneath the membrane what would be my best choice? I don't believe I can build over the rubber but I do need a something that will keep water from leaking into the house when the deck/roof is covered in snow.
The rubber would be below the concrete, so you won't find that and you don't have room for it.

If you have a window in the mud room measure from the window to the ceiling inside and then measure from the window to the deck surface out side, that will give you some idea of the size of the joists.
Then measure the distance between walls for the span.

If the deck has a slope, usually the joists run in the same direction as the slope, to be proved later.


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