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Waterproof Roof Decks & Construction Defects, by guest blogger Randy Dorsing

The growing popularity of outdoor living areas has resulted in home builders and remodelers constructing countless decks and balcony systems within the past ten years. These decks and balconies are beautiful, versatile, and suit both the home's architecture as well as the homeowner's lifestyle.

For many years, conventional plank decks were the decks of choice, crafted from woods such as cedar and redwood. However, there are drawbacks with wood plank decks. In addition to the laborious maintenance that these decks require, they also can accumulate debris in the gaps, pose a danger to tripping and allow water to pass through the gaps to the surface below. These issues have caused traditional decks and balconies to become far less desirable for today's outdoor living environment.

To solve these problems, contractors in the Portland Metro area have turned to waterproof roof decks and balconies. These systems consist of a waterproof solid surface that prevents water from entering the building structure, and also provide the added benefit of creating a dry and usable living space below.

Unfortunately, many homeowners are experiencing issues with these types of decks and balconies that have resulted in structural damage, sever dry rot, mold, and other complications caused by inexperienced contractors who utilize cheap products and unskilled or poorly trained personnel.

An exterior restoration & waterproofing contractor with the proper experience and training can not only renew your leaking and ailing deck with a properly installed waterproof deck system, but also correct other problem areas found on your home's exterior, such as windows, doors, siding, and more. It is critical that these components be integrated correctly to create a symbiotic water management system.

Many homeowners may not be aware that their deck, siding, doors, or windows were installed poorly or incorrectly, allowing moisture into their home's structure. Because of less permeable building materials coupled with the decline in air movement, many newer homes have difficulty expelling moisture from their exterior envelope. If this moisture remains trapped, even for a short time, the home can become significantly damaged. While most contractors don't intentionally build or remodel homes that are susceptible to moisture intrusion problems, some simply don't possess the necessary skills or knowledge to properly seal a home's exterior. Improperly installed windows and doors, inadequate flashing details at roofs and decks, and poorly installed siding can all contribute to moisture intrusion, and the resulting damage that can cost homeowners thousands of dollars.

If you live in Oregon, and the construction was built or remodeled less than ten years ago (six years in Washington), you may have a claim against the contractor for damages. Homeowners who suspect that they have defects in the construction of their home should contact an attorney who specializes in construction defects to help navigate the legal process to possibly re-couping the expenses incurred in repairing defects.

Whether you suspect issues with your deck or balcony, or with your home's exterior, you may not be aware to what extent your home is in need of additional protection or substantial repair. From an initial evaluation to the final brush of paint, a qualified and experienced waterproofing and exterior restoration contractor is extremely valuable in providing a number of solutions for waterproofing decks and balconies. These contractors should also be well versed in the proper installation of doors, windows, siding and more. The important thing to remember is that all these components must work together, and be properly integrated and installed in a specific order so that the water flow and moisture levels are managed, to protect the home from structural damage and mold.

Due to the Pacific Northwest's extremely wet climate, it is imperative that homeowners regularly take inventory of their home's exterior. Ignoring or simply avoiding these potential defects will not only lead to very expensive repairs, but left untreated, these defects can lead to structural damage, mold, wasted energy, and a considerable number of sleepless nights.

Guest Blogger Randy Dorsing is a Northwest construction waterproofing expert with Applied Exteriors. Contact him at 503-345-9447.

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