Recently, we completed a deck restoration project for a North Vancouver townhome strata. The decks are wood construction and have been coated with a waterproof urethane membrane.
Over the years, these decks have been a maintenance problem. Despite undergoing a series of previous repairs, they continued to deteriorate. Although the deck surface appeared to be sound and waterproof, the underlying wood continued to decay – particularly around the metal footplate of the railings.
The problem was a real mystery. The footplates were properly sealed, and there were no apparent places that water could enter. What’s more, there were “weep-holes” at the bottom of the railing post to allow water to drain. However, as we got into the project, we were able to solve the issue.
When we removed the railing we found that many of the post footplates had a small hole in the bottom. These holes were allowing any water collecting in the railings to be trapped and eventually seep into the wood below. To eliminate the problem, we sealed each hole with a small sheet metal plate, secured with urethane sealant.
When we showed the strata council liaison what we had discovered, she commented, “Four contractors, 17 years, and now we finally know what the problem is!”