Wooden decks create a fabulous ambiance most suited for entertaining guests. Decks, built as front porch give a dramatic prelude to grand entrance. However, unmaintained decks become eyesore especially if such decks are connected to the front of the house. Hence, construction and maintenance are vital.
Efficient drainage system plays a major role in the upkeep of wooden decks. Rainwater collected on the surface and under the deck need to be drained and diverted away to avoid the decomposition of the materials. Hence, underside and underdeck drainage must be installed to facilitate the flow of rainwater, be collected and channeled away from the deck structure. Free standing decks create no problem with regards to drainage system as water can freely flow and drainage can be installed wherever corner. With decks connected to the main house, proper drainage construction and its location are essential to protect both the house and the deck.
What does a faulty drainage system or its absence do to a deck? As water does not have a temporary depository, water may accumulate underneath the deck or beside it. Stagnant water erodes the wooden structure especially in areas where water accumulates constantly for a long period of time. Although majority of decking materials are hardwood that last even up to a couple of decades naturally resistant to all types of weather conditions, such materials are invincible to constant exposure to water. Hence effective drainage system must be employed to immediately divert water away from the structure and nature will do the sun or air-drying.
Pools of stagnant water below the decks pose as health hazards as stagnant waters are excellent breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other insects. Such insects act as vectors for various insect bite-related diseases and skin problems. Such contaminated water will contaminate potable water sources and other bodies of water such as lakes thus contaminate the rest of the bodies of water which may cause water-borne disease such as skin diseases and gastrointestinal problems.
With the rich water supply underneath decks due to stagnant water, vegetation will likely grow especially moss. Mosses thrive well in cool, moist and shady areas. In such a short span of time, moss can grow on the surfaces underside of the wooden floorings of the deck. The growth of mosses then is an indicator that the wooden materials have become moist and conducive for their growth and which will eventually bring about its decay and collapse.
Rainforest trees are basically molded by nature to withstand harsh environmental conditions. Lumbers from such hardwoods too naturally consist of physical characteristics made to adapt both to extreme man-made and natural conditions and situations. However, it is the man-made circumstances that become more detrimental to wooden decks.