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Deck Flashing newbie question

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Stanley1138

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Hi and thanks in advance!

I hired a very reputable deck builder in my city to install a standard cedar deck on my house. They did not remove the siding to attach it to the ledger and "flash it". They drilled holes through my vinyl siding and bolted it on. When I asked about this they said they use silicone sealer on the top and sides to protect from weather intrusion. Not the bottom to allow for "weaping". And that it would never pass inspection if this method was risky. They said they have done it this way thousands of times for 20 years and never had a call back. 10 year structural warranty, etc.
But when I search for "deck flashing" everything says to remove the siding to flash it properly and its hard to find anything about just using silicone sealer. My concern is that down the road it could lead to water intrusion and damage AND that any potential buyers mortgage inspector will reject it.

So can I trust the builders experience that there is nothing to worry about here?

Thanks!
 

kok328

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Does your locality require a permit to attach a deck to your house?
If so, this will need to be final inspected and at that point you'll know.
If they attached to the ledger board with a wrap, that is flat then I wouldn't worry about it.
 

Stanley1138

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I did ask him about inspection and he said it would pass inspection. And said before they've done it this way thousands of times in this area. Im more worried about selling the house down the road and some mortgage inspector rejecting it.

They used 100% silicone across the top and sides.
 

joecaption

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No way would that pass around here!
If they did this, I'd like to see how close they built that deck to the threshold of any door openings to see if they did that wrong also.
Really should have been built as a free standing deck so there's 0 chance of damage to the home, or deck failure.
They did it that way to save time and money doing it the right way.
 

oldognewtrick

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I can't remember how many times I've said this, silicone is the absoult worst caulk that can be used on exterior applications. It sets up to hard and doesn't allow for thermal expansion as you season cycle. And...just because they say they've been doing it this way for years doesn't mean it's been done correctly. I'd suggest contacting your local building codes office and express your concerns to them.
 

zannej

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Oldog, what type of caulk is good for exterior?
 

bud16415

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You didn’t mention how far off the ground your deck is. For me that’s a big factor if I would build it freestanding or attached as in a high deck you gain a lot of stability by attaching it to the house.



Attaching the ledger thru the vinyl siding is totally wrong IMO. How could you draw up the lag bolts tight without crushing the siding? Also how do they even know what they were lagging into?



I attached a small 2x12 piece of PT thru my siding like that to make a place to mount my GFCI box for a hot tub. I lagged it up and just tightened the lags enough to put some pressure on the siding. it worked for that but it is supporting no load.

How did they do the outboard posts into the ground? I’m assuming in ND you have a pretty deep frost line.
 

joecaption

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If this had of been done right it would need no caulking!
At some point any caulking will fail.
I'm not even worried about lags leaking, my main concerns are as mentioned they have no clue what the lags are screwed into and damage to the siding.
If you spend anytime on DIY sites you'll see hundreds of post over the years where so called "Pros" have built decks to close to the door thresholds costing thousands in damage to the home, notched out 4 X 4's, attached post rails to just the sides of joist with no blocking, because that's the way they have always done it, none of which will meet modern codes.
 

Stanley1138

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Here's the resolution comment.

The deck is about 6' off the ground, supported by posts in front and connected to house floor joists (not sure the correct terminology) in back through the siding and sealed with 100% silicone sealer (I know sealer/caulking will need to be maintained).

I called my home builder and they said that if there was no exposed visible ledger (there was not) that my house didn't have one. I had just assumed that it was hidden under the siding.
I was able to talk to the city inspector when he was here. This DOES PASS inspection here and so did mine. The inspector said he sees this all the time and it does meet code but connecting a deck through the siding is obviously not the best way to do it and not how he would ever do it (everyone I talked to said this).
Its built and connected to the house totally solid and correct so structurally nothing to worry about. Just maintaining the sealer do to weathering and age.
I'm not happy about how it looks with caulking connected to the house. It is flush tho, no gap. I'm also not happy about how the contractor joined it but there's nothing I can do about it. They said they've done it in this area for "20 years, thousands of times, no call backs" and it passed inspection.
I also talked to a realtor friend and he said if the city approves it, it is a given that any buyers bank inspector will also approve it for a buyer mortgage.
The contractor knows I'm not happy with the lazy method but they are not going to come back, tear it down and redo it. That's just not going to happen. It meets code.

Thanks for the replies, I learned a lot through this whole process. Hope this helps someone else in the future. Absolute number one, A-numero Uno thing I learned: If I ever am in this situation again, BEFORE deck construction starts, tell the builder I want it done properly with a ledger and flash it properly. I just assumed they would do it properly, when I noticed and asked, the frame was already up and it was too late.
 

bud16415

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It is always easier to educate yourself before contracting and then having what you want made clear in the quote/specs you agree to. After the fact it gets much harder and when you think about a deck it would require taking it almost all down as the house is the starting point.



My brother in law bought a house that had a deck built like yours somewhat done by the owner I think. He started noticing it seeming weak on the house side and I went over and told him someday he will walk out and it might drop from the house on that side.



I’m not saying yours will end up like that.



We left it attached as good as it was and dug new footings for poles about a foot off the house and then restructured below the floor joists and set 4 new posts below the frost line. We added some diagonal cross bracing as well and converted a ledger hung deck to a free standing but attached to the house deck. That was a few years ago now and it is working out fine.

My hot tub deck had to hold a 6000 lb tub plus up to 10 people and furniture plus the weight of the deck and my house being 150 years old was hard to judge how good things were behind siding so I built it free standing 1” from the house and also floating. It moves as a unit with ground freeze and we get some –30f weeks here. Its been about 7 years and doing fine. It is only 30” high and the reason I did it that way. if it was taller I would have went 4’ deep with footings.
 
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