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Standing Water on Decking: Causes, Prevention, and Solutions

Standing Water on Decking: Causes, Prevention, and Solutions

Decks are an extension of our living spaces, providing a platform for relaxation, entertainment, and outdoor enjoyment. However, the presence of standing water on a deck can not only detract from its aesthetic appeal but also pose safety hazards and structural concerns. Addressing standing water promptly and effectively is crucial to maintaining the integrity and longevity of your deck.


Understanding the Causes of Standing Water

Standing water on decking typically arises from a combination of factors:

Improper Drainage: Decks should be designed and constructed with a slight slope, typically around 1/8 inch per foot, to ensure proper water drainage away from the house and towards designated drainage points. If the deck lacks adequate drainage, water will tend to pool in low-lying areas.


Clogged Drainage Systems: Gutters, downspouts, and drainage pipes can become clogged with debris, such as leaves, twigs, and dirt, over time. This obstruction hinders the flow of water away from the deck, leading to standing water accumulation.


Uneven Decking Surfaces: If the deck surface is uneven or warped, water can collect in depressions or pockets, creating standing water hazards.


Leaks or Sealant Failure: Leaks from roofing, gutters, or other structures above the deck can contribute to standing water on the decking surface. Additionally, if the deck sealant has worn out or cracked, water can penetrate the decking material, causing further issues.

How To Deal With Standing Water On Decking

Preventive Measures to Avoid Standing Water

Proactive measures can significantly reduce the risk of standing water on decking:

Maintain Proper Drainage: Regularly inspect and clean gutters, downspouts, and drainage pipes to ensure they are free of debris and functioning properly.


Ensure Adequate Slope: Verify that the deck has a consistent slope of at least 1/8 inch per foot away from the house. If necessary, address any unevenness in the decking surface.


Regular Maintenance: Apply a high-quality deck sealant or water repellent regularly to protect the decking material from moisture penetration.


Prompt Repair of Leaks: Address any leaks in roofing, gutters, or other structures above the deck promptly to prevent water from reaching the decking surface.


Effective Solutions for Existing Standing Water

If standing water has already accumulated on your deck, take these steps to address the issue:


Remove Standing Water: Use a broom, squeegee, or shop vac to remove standing water from the deck surface.


Identify the Cause: Investigate the underlying cause of the standing water, such as improper drainage, clogged drainage systems, or uneven decking surfaces.


Address Drainage Issues: If drainage is the culprit, clear any obstructions in gutters, downspouts, and drainage pipes. Consider installing additional drainage points or rerouting drainage channels if necessary.


Repair Uneven Surfaces: If the deck surface is uneven, consider resurfacing or shimming the affected areas to create a consistent slope.


Reseal the Decking: If the deck sealant has worn out or cracked, apply a fresh coat of high-quality sealant to protect the decking material from moisture penetration.


Additional Considerations

Deck Material: Certain decking materials, such as wood, are more susceptible to water damage than others. If you live in an area with high rainfall or humidity, consider using composite decking or treated wood that is more resistant to moisture.


Professional Assistance: For complex drainage issues or structural repairs, consult a qualified decking contractor or professional to ensure the safety and integrity of your deck.


By understanding the causes of standing water on decking, implementing preventive measures, and taking prompt action to address existing issues, you can safeguard your deck from water damage, maintain its beauty, and ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor living space.