Watertight deck coatings and Condominiums appear to be to go hand in hand in California. It appears that virtually each individual HOA advanced has them, either above a living room or attached off a space. Inhabitants adore them for the reason that their decks are typically utilized as one more area of the house, entrepreneurs and supervisors of revenue residence ordinarily detest them due to the fact of the difficulties that seem to often occur alongside with them.

Some proprietors and professionals seek to reduce their exposure to these complications by trying to get to adjust the CC&R’s, making homeowners liable for these unique use areas. Other Boards just set their heads in the sand, fixing decks as a complaint arrives in, normally with the bare least of operate to stop the deck from leaking. Good professionals and Boards will tackle the challenge head on, searching to get their deck difficulties beneath command ideal away. As a previous HOA manager, I noticed first hand how disregarding servicing on waterproof decks could be incredibly high-priced.

The price of a new watertight coating is just not low cost, but the value of repairing dry-rotted framing supporting the deck is a lot even worse. An Affiliation I managed signed a agreement for resurfacing eight decks in Pismo Beach. That deal turned from an $8,000.00 + resurfacing into over $100,000.00 in dry-rot repairs when it was all around. The Affiliation experienced deferred the upkeep essential by the producer for a number of a long time beyond the recommended maintenance program, enabling the floor to degrade to the point in which water was able to penetrate into the framing and rot it from the inside of out.


The vital to preventing decks from turning into a issue is in inspecting the decks. Usually instances the supervisor and or the Board will wander the Associations typical spot house for inspection of the factors the Affiliation is dependable for. Typical merchandise that are checked are downspouts and gutters the affliction of the paint on the buildings, the roof and regardless of what else can be commonly viewed from the road and sidewalks. As h2o proofed decks are generally on the 2nd or 3rd floor, they ordinarily are hardly ever inspected. Entry via the residence is tough to organize with house owners and what supervisor or Board member really wishes to climb a ladder?

As a result, the decks just linger by themselves, never ever seriously thought of until eventually an operator phone calls to say that water is dripping into their home from the deck previously mentioned them in the course of the biggest rainstorm of the time. Then the deck challenge raises it’s unsightly head, triggering the supervisor to go into disaster management mode, contacting a handyman out to quickly protect the deck, waiting for a deck organization to arrive out and look at it, acquiring the Board to approve the mend, all of which can acquire a thirty day period or extra. The owner is disappointed simply because their deck leaks, the manager is annoyed mainly because he or she hears from the proprietor 2-3 occasions with issues, the deck corporation is commonly occupied with loads of leak phone calls and it usually takes for good to get nearly anything accomplished that cures the issue.

Repeated (at least as soon as for every yr) inspections will help eliminate difficulties. Catching modest troubles before they become huge issues can save sizeable sums of money from getting to be used on framing repairs owing to leaks. Summer months is an perfect time to inspect decks, it is not raining and there is some time in advance of the winter season storms begin anew to get bids and make wanted repairs. The inspection needn’t be a difficult issue to do there are quite a few items to glance for that a layman can spot rather easily. If the Affiliation or administration organization has a deck business that they have faith in, probably using the services of them as an exterior supply to execute the inspections would get the job done effectively. Electronic cameras can be made use of to provide photo documentation of the conditions located, permitting the supervisor and Board to get an exact strategy of the troubles that they could be going through.

When carrying out your have inspections, it will be handy to know what kind of deck coating is on the decks. A manufacturer identify allows, but more importantly, being aware of what sort of materials has been used is far better. Elastomeric, urethane, lightweight concrete and floating methods are standard coating elements in use on lots of decks. In realizing what sort deck coating you have, you will be ready to know how often the deck will have to have to be taken care of.

Warning indicators to glimpse for on your deck inspection contain cracks in the deck coating, nails popping as a result of the coating from the subsurface, delaminating paint and bubbles in the coating surface. Any of these objects uncovered is a indicator that the waterproof surface has been compromised. Entrepreneurs should really be hunting for these warning symptoms much too, as perfectly as wanting for stains on their ceiling or partitions in the home beneath their deck. Metal flashing can be checked for signals of rust, pulling unfastened from the deck coating or if it is bent or broken.

If you uncover these problems on a deck, a easy look at of the affliction of the substrate beneath can be attained by employing your foot to check out for softness. Be thorough, it may perhaps be so tender that your foot could go through the deck in a worst-situation state of affairs! Soft substrate is indicative of what could be a more substantial dilemma beneath, dry-rotted framing and/or termites. The other warm button in modern HOA entire world is mold and mildew. This might exist underneath also.

A different detail to glimpse for when accomplishing inspections is examining to see what is actually on the deck-plants, tables, umbrellas, grills, carpet, etc. Desk legs, grills, sharp objects and superior heels can destruction smooth deck coatings. Crops in immediate get in touch with with the area have to have to be elevated up to let air to circulate and dry off the h2o employed to moisten the crops. Softer deck coatings aren’t normally able to have these products in immediate get hold of with the coating, typically caster cups will want to be made use of to defend the coating.

Indoor/outdoor carpet is often place down on a deck by an uninformed operator, typically to protect above an unappealing, degrading deck area. This is the worst matter an operator can do to their deck as it locks in any dampness trapped underneath, which may perhaps allow for dry-rot to set in.

Charcoal grills can fall warm coals on to the surface area, burning through the water-proof layers of gentle deck coatings. Grease from gas and charcoal grills will stain the deck, if not cleaned off before long after spilling.


Routine maintenance is the key to a very long long lasting deck. I have witnessed decks that are developed to last 25-30 a long time with correct treatment, that are ruined further than maintenance within 5-10 yrs soon after currently being installed owing to disregarding or delaying the servicing it wants.

Just like a vehicle, deck coatings require to be washed once in a while. A good cleansing will rinse grime away that can wear down the coating. Just like the buildings, the deck requirements to be painted/resealed on the schedule recommended by the company. All water resistant coatings sealant desires to be renewed, from time to time as usually as each individual two-three many years. The topcoat is a specialized paint/sealer, formulated to safeguard and seal the less than layer (which is wherever the waterproofing material is). The topcoat is normally utilized at the rate of about 8-10 mils thick, by brush, roller or spray. UV (sunlight) rain and foot targeted visitors will have on this protecting layer absent at a charge of 3 mils for each calendar year. Even while the deck might look quite excellent and the paints colour is still there, by calendar year 3 there is tiny security afforded to the beneath layer. Ongoing deferred maintenance is the starting of the conclusion of the decks usable lifestyle, typically resulting in costly repairs.

As a general rule, comfortable deck coatings (urethanes, elastomeric’s and floating devices) will want more frequent routine maintenance than really hard concrete dependent deck coatings. They also have a larger probability of failing prematurely if they are not preserved as recommended. Concrete primarily based techniques are usually far more forgiving if not maintained in accordance to the manufacturer’s agenda. Consult with the maker or deck coating installer if you are not positive what you have.

Deciding upon a New Deck Coating Process.

To aid Boards and their managers in finding the ideal offer for their dollars, here are some suggestions to set into use when bidding for new coatings to renew the old coatings at your Associations.

As always, you can expect to want to get at minimum 2-3 suppliers to bid your position. Organize a web page stop by in which all bidders can arrive at the similar time and overview the task, they can ask questions that all of them can get the similar reply to. Possessing their respective manufacturer’s profits representative overview the career will be beneficial much too. The sales agent really should compose the specs for the contractor to use to bid on.

Check with every contractor bidding your perform what deck technique they are proposing to install. Tufflex, Mer-Kote, Pacific Polymers, Dex-O-Tex, Desert Brand and Daily life Deck are typical brand name names. Observe out for deck coatings that are not proprietary systems, manufactured by a bona fide chemical corporation. Some deck companies “prepare dinner up” their have deck coatings, trying to find to lessen their costs on supplies. While some businesses who do this might have a coating program that functions pretty effectively, there will not likely be any manufacturer’s aid if any challenges crop up before, during or following the set up.

Question your installer to provide you with the manufacturer’s details, including their title, deal with and telephone number. You should not be concerned to contact the maker and discuss with that firm’s revenue consultant. Inquire them to make a internet site check out, write the technical specs for the get the job done required, then evaluate the do the job during and soon after the set up and give you with a prepared guarantee.

When deciding upon your deck system, there are a whole lot of decisions offered. Due to the fact it is normally tough to get an “apples to apples” bid with 2 or 3 contractors all bidding the similar method, the difficulty is compounded when you are comparing distinct coating methods. Just about every technique could present benefits and drawbacks about the other. What works wonderful on concrete decks may possibly not function so perfectly more than a plywood/OSB* substrate deck.

* Some makers will not warranty their merchandise in excess of OSB, which is not identified as suitable substrate by the Global Meeting of Making Officers (ICBO). Be guaranteed to check with your bidders whether or not this is the circumstance with their solution. Others may grant a specific exemption if conditions warrant.

Urethanes, elastomeric’s, floating techniques and lightweight acrylic programs are frequently listened to terms in describing deck-coating methods. Knowledge what you are shopping for is essential to your project’s achievements. Several coating products and solutions can have extended curing moments, necessitating maintaining the decks closed for a extended interval of time, occasionally for 24 hours. Does your Affiliation have inhabitants who would be adversely affected by getting locked in or out of their home, from time to time for days although a new system is staying set up? Some may well have odors associated with the curing and software process, odors that may possibly be highly offensive or toxic. Do you have residents that may endure from these smells? Talk to your contractor about accessibility to the house, specially if the decks they will be operating on are entryways into the dwelling. Urethane deck coatings specially are infamous for solid odors involved with the curing process. It truly is much better to obtain out forward of time that a products may be smelly so that you can give recognize to people.

A dilemma you want answered from every single bidder is no matter if your routine maintenance staff members can offer potential routine maintenance to the deck or if the deck installer ought to supply those people companies. Some manufacturer’s warranties might demand that only an licensed installer renew the topcoat. Many others might not have that requirement. Is your Association set up with onsite upkeep staff or an outside the house source that could reapply sealer for the Affiliation?
You ought to also talk to the contractor what would/could come about to their deck coating if the Association didn’t maintain it in accordance to agenda. The painted topcoat is commonly 8-10 mils thick with two coats used. All deck coatings topcoat will wear down from foot website traffic, sunlight, rain etc. On some units, when this happens, it exposes the tender below layer (exactly where the waterproofing components are typically) to swift degradation.

Other Things to Look at

While deck coatings are just one thing to look at, there are other products to take into account that can expense pretty a little bit of income also. Flashings for instance. Normally there are two forms of flashing to be discovered on the deck-L metal flashings that search just like an L and drip edge flashings. Each individual performs a key job in waterproofing your decks.

L steel flashing is uncovered at the wall to deck junction. It is often hard to place as it may possibly have been painted about. It retains h2o out at this very important region. Drip edge flashing is the next form of flashing generally discovered on decks. It is observed at the outer edge of the deck. A compact bend on the base lip will kick water absent from the deck as it runs off.

You need to have to know if your flashing is suitable with any new coatings you are looking at. It may not be owing to it truly is getting rusted, improperly mounted or that it simply just does not satisfy the manufacturer’s requirements to implement water resistant coatings much too. Elimination of L metal flashing can often be expensive, involving removal of stucco or wood siding to accessibility it. Repairs by other trades may possibly be needed to your siding. Drip edge flashing is commonly not as high priced to remove and substitute as it is typically really available, nevertheless, performing all-around railings, posts etc. can press the price up if access is tough. Are fees of substitute involved in your bid? Beware of bids that you should not incorporate these products or guarantee you that the flashings fulfill technical specs for the coating you are making use of. Beware the contractor who, soon after coming into into an settlement with you, may well then explain to you that they “want a transform buy as your flashings never meet specification.” This is a standard “gotcha” where by they can increase large earnings on to the bid when you’re stuck owning to make crisis selections. Once again, question the manufacturer’s agent to handle this in their scope of operate.

Door thresholds, entry door and display screen doorway clearances are yet another merchandise to feel about. You may need to budget for shaving doors down or elevating threshold heights when applying a new coating over an old coating.

Substitution or maintenance of substrate under the deck coatings is one more product that can rapidly add up, generally exceeding the value of the coating operate itself. A thorough inspection can typically find any delicate spots under the coating that show weak rotted plywood/OSB board. A excellent estimate will incorporate allowances for replacement of plywood, eradicating most surprises. What no just one can forecast with out harmful tests is to what extent does the harm go? Delicate plywood is a person factor, rotted framing supporting the deck is solely another. Remember the Pismo Seaside condominiums described over? An $8,000.00 contract turned into $100,000 + in repairs to framing and nearly 8 months of time ahead of the house owners could use their decks yet again. Ruined framing will have to be fixed prior to placing a new coating on-you can find no perception in throwing revenue absent as the new coating will only fail as the deck supports fall short far too.

Insurance coverage ought to also be supplied thought-some deck coatings, when utilized specifically over plywood, will have an ICBO (Intercontinental Conference of Setting up Officers) Class A and a 1 Hour hearth rating. Your costs may possibly fall if you use a coating that fulfills the score requirements. Inquire with your deck company as to no matter if their coating is ICBO rated for Course A Fireplace resistance and if it is just one hour rated. Present coatings could have to have to be taken off to start with to reach this score. Your insurance coverage agent/underwriter ought to also be consulted in regards to re-rating the property.

Reserve Fund Concerns

Just before you choose on a deck coating, you will want to come across out what all your charges of ownership seriously will be. There is present day charge of purchasing the product or service and there is tomorrow’s value of future maintenance to feel about as properly. Deciding upon a significant upkeep deck coating can effects your Associations dues and reserve requirements for decades to occur. For case in point, if a coating essential a thoroughly clean and reseal each 2-3 years to retain your guarantee, how much would that price tag every time and multiply that about the predicted daily life span. A low rate on installation could simply convert into a large price tag servicing nightmare for the subsequent 30 decades.

Check with the contractors bidding on your do the job to offer you with a “at present day expenses, how considerably would it charge to clean up and reseal your coating, centered on the sq. footage we have at our intricate?” Review every single diverse coating’s expenses to clean up and reseal it and multiply that factor out in excess of its predicted existence. The deck program you pick ought to have a 25-30+ yr everyday living expectancy, just like most roof methods. Review the change and choose for by yourself the place you want that money to go-into your reserves for some other component’s reserve requires or to your contractor. Your reserve examine preparer can be a valuable supply of data also and ought to modify your Association’s reserve research when you set a new method down or reseal your current procedure.

Significant Issues When Picking a Contractor

When it will come to deciding upon a contractor to install the deck process you’ve got chosen, it is critical that you make the right alternative. Normally periods a Board will decide on what seems to be the the very least costly contractor. That could backfire on your Affiliation if that contractor is not correctly licensed, insured and bonded and an incident occurred even though the contractor’s team is on the occupation internet site at your HOA.

Question your contractor to provide you with this data and test it! Simply call their Insurance coverage Company as shown on the sort they have offered. Glance up on the net website of the California Contractors Condition Licensing Board at http://www.cslb.ca.gov for their license standing and course, bonding and employees compensation info. Question them to title the Association and your management company as an further insured on their legal responsibility insurance coverage. Note, if they can’t name you as an additional insured, their insurance policy carrier may not insure them when operating on condominiums. Even though you are unable to be named as an additional insured on workers compensation, you can be named as a celebration in fascination and be informed if any variations take place to their workers comp policy. Consult your danger manager for further more info on protecting your Association against feasible promises.

No matter what you do, really don’t permit any contractor onto the Associations assets to get the job done until finally you have all their info in area.

References. Your contractor should be inclined to offer references for do the job identical to yours that they have completed just lately. You need to also request if you could pay a visit to the employment that are on the reference listing. Discuss to the manager, the inhabitants or the typical contractor who ran the career about the business you are thinking of applying.

You should also ask to look at employment that are numerous or far more yrs previous. This will permit you see how very well the coatings they used have held up. Talk to the manufacturer’s sales consultant about the business you are thinking about and what their experience has been with the contractor.


The moment you as a manager or Board member know what to seem for, you needn’t dread the worst when it arrives to your decks. Proactive is the important phrase, doing the important upkeep ahead of the deck will become a difficulty.
Just like the rest of the Associations servicing wants, incorporating the decks into a frequent maintenance program will save heartache, time and cash.

Info considered reliable but not assured. Check with the maker of your deck coating for up to date warranty and treatment information and facts.

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