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Old 08-12-2017, 07:27 AM
Robyn's Avatar
Robyn Robyn is offline
Missy Good Wench ( Moderator)
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Newberg Oregon
Posts: 9,423
Default Just because you don't know it's broken...

Don't mean it ain't so

Around here it seems like there is always something that needs fixing

A few weeks ago my tenant that live in our lower level (Apartment) mentioned that she saw a couple large cracks in one of the main beams in the East end of the deck.

So I go take a peek and sure enough there are some cracks, but at the time they did not seem to be a major issue.

** This gal (renter) sees everything*** A real anal type ya know.

Actually a good thing.

I decided to give the East deck section a good looking over, and it was apparent that the tread surface was in need... BADLY

Cedar decking is not a forever thing by any means.

A good inspection revealed that the tread surface needed replacing, but cedar decking has gone $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Crazy stupid.

A 12 foot piece is about $25 and it was gonna take 40 pieces of 12 footers to get the job done. That's a grand..... $1000 not counting other items like deck screws etc.

The cedar does not last well in the wet climate we have here either.

Soooooooooooo, decided to use the pressure treated 2 x 6 fir instead at half the $$$$$$$$$$$$$

The decks frame is all PT and in great shape even after 24 years up here in the wet and sloppy we get.

Granted the PT is not as pretty, but it lasts well.

Purchased 1/2 the needed boards and went to work on the task at hand..

Then I started tearing up the old deck tread and discovered that where the decking met the siding on the house that the siding was in poor shape...

Short of tearing off the deck and doing a total reside and then rebuilding the deck there were few option.

Further inspection revealed that the damage was just the siding and that the structure behind was fine, as it was protected by an impervious plastic sheet.

Sooooooooooo, an easy idea popped into my head.

Get some flashing bent up to cover the area where the deck tread meets the house and also to cover the joist where the deck tread fastened.

A trip to a local pole barn metal company yielded what I wanted and made to my specs for $164 Sweeeeeeeeeeet

42 feet of custom flashing with the edges folded tight.

I got to work ripping things apart and then it became clear that this was going to be a ladder show NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WAY.

Decided to cut the new decking and then temporarily offsetting it away from the house about 4 inches to allow accessing the joist/header next to the house and installing the flashing.

Having a perfect platform to work on and the flashing being 6 foot pieces made life good.

I painted the siding and the top of the joist /header with a product called "Though the roof" which is a very nasty clear, sticky rubber goop to seal the damaged siding and to make sure that water did not get into the area.

All is going well for a day or two as things progressed down the deck, and the while taking a rest and having something to drink I notice a part of the deck rail had a large sag in it, hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

I investigate farther only to find that the large beam originally spoken of was far worse off than just a few cracks... THIS PUPPY WAS ROTTED NEARLY THROUGH.

Again taking stock in things revealed that due to the design of the framing the one end of the deck (seen in photo by the sat dish was sagging about 3 inches in the first 10 feet away from the dish.

Now the real fun was gonna commence

The deck tread is about 12 feet from the ground/concrete and was originally built using a scaffolding to align all the framing as it was assembled.

We are fresh out of scaffolding and young grunts to lift stuff that is heavy.

Decided to build a custom jack using a 4x4 post, a piece of steel angle and a 12 inch length of all thread.

The jack can be seen in one photo and the entire post in another.

A short session with the jack and a level on the deck got things back up to FAIRLY CLOSE

With 24 years on it since new, getting perfect was not going to happen considering overall settling etc. but close was fine.

With the jack in place the attention could return to laying the new treads and flashing.

The plan is to get the flashing and treads finished all the way out to the South side and then carefully extract the old rotted beam from the top side and install a new one.

So far so good.

We have been having high 90 F weather with some 100 F plus in there too so the progress is slower than I would like.

Add high humidity (Rare for here) and it has sucked out there in the afternoons.

Some piccys with shots of the flashing, new deck treads and the rotted 4 x 10 beam.

Thinking about getting some flashing to lay over the top side of the new beam to keep water from laying on and soaking into it.

That can happen a bit later, even after the summer winds down.

The main thing was to keep water out of the structure and provide a safe walkway.

The original decking had a few spots that reminded me of Indiana Jones in RAIDERS navigating the maze to get the idol.

A bit of care needed

As of this morning there is about 10 feet left to go.

After the last flashing is in and sealed we can start imagineering on getting the old beam out and the new one in.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:38 AM
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Robyn Robyn is offline
Missy Good Wench ( Moderator)
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Newberg Oregon
Posts: 9,423

Another couple pix showing the deck from South to North... North to south and then the entire South side.

We rarely go east to the end where the Sat dish is and normally enter the back door mid way down the long south side.

The brown flashing was a left over from a similar fix on the South side run.

A case of not being on site while this place was being put together back in 1993 was the biggest reason for these issues we face today, as these were blatant no no's that were not caught until it was too late.

No flashing, and non PT beams were the major cause of most issues here.

Ahhhh well... hind sight is always 20/20 ya know.

I'm getting too old for this chit.

Always what I want or need is just out of reach or ????
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:42 AM
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DickWells DickWells is offline
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Morrisville, VT, USA
Posts: 2,247

Just be thankful that you're still a youngster.

No. Really. Comparatively speaking. I know whereof I speak, being daily reminded that these old bones and muscles ain't a-goin to work like they did just a couple of years ago. Been working almost every day, all Summer, clearing brush and junk trees along the 1000 ft. driveway, just to free up views of Elmore Mountain and curves in the drive, as well as get some semblance of neatness restored. Unless I can work from a tractor seat, I'm only good for a couple hours at a time.

We've had a big blast of heat and humidity, too. Drink about a gallon of water a day and sweat till the salt stings my eyes and drips off the bill of my cap. The one good thing about all this is, that I'm in a hell of a lot better condition than I was two months ago, and I'm betting that you are reaping some of the same benefit from your physical effort, too.

Keep up the good work, you're building character every day.
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:14 PM
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rustyk rustyk is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Brooker, FL
Posts: 1,169

I went through that on a much smaller scale several years ago.

When I pulled the ceiling skins from the workshop to reinforce the barely-meeting-code 2nd floor joists, I noticed that the balcony beams (the balcony was cantilevered) were secured with one small clip, So I retrofitted the front of the balcony with beams and 4x4 PT posts.

Then I noticed the railing posts were secured with lag bolts into the end grain of the balcony joists. I installed eyebolts and ran cable to tension them.

Fast forward a few years, and the small (10'x12') grade-level deck's treads were rotting. I went to Lowe's and got the special PT decking planks. Upon removing the old decking, I discovered the underlying framework was also rotted - not PT! So I got to rebuild the deck from scratch. The best part was that I did this a few weeks before surgery to restore range-of-motion to my right arm.

BTW, I found my drywall driver was perfect for driving the screws to the right depth automatically.
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Old 08-13-2017, 07:25 AM
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Robyn Robyn is offline
Missy Good Wench ( Moderator)
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Newberg Oregon
Posts: 9,423

The plan USED to be, "Work a couple hours and then take a 10 minute break"

Now it's "Work 10 minutes and then rest for 2 hour"

My biggest issue stems from having the handful of strokes back in 2012 followed by the cancer surgery for Kidney cancer.

Nobody knows the total answer, but residual fatigue from strokes are a bitch.

Once the fatigue sets in there is no real quick fix.

Power naps are useless and so I just have to soldier on until I just crash

Got a fair bit done yesterday and am to the point now that I need to get after replacing the 4 x 10 beam before I can finish the deck treads.

Should be fairly easy, but requires the removal of some of the south side treads that are still usable.

I need to remove treads and then temporarily replace with ones that are shorter to allow removing the old rotted 4 x 10

More of a nuisance than being hard to do.

Thinking about using 2x4 pieces to do the temp decking and just spacing them accordingly to provide a safe working area.

We got our first measurable rain in 57 days last night, and will likely get a bit more today.

Looking out the window I can see that things are wet.

Been a long hot spell for sure.

Happily the bulk of the work is done and was so while things were really dry.

We have more dry weather coming this week, just not nearly as hot though.

My hope is to have this project pretty well wrapped up by weeks end.

Sadly the things around here that require my attention never seem to end.


You mentioned the drywall screw driver.

I am using the deck screws with the #25 Torx heads that also have a back cutting feature.

I am doing this entire project using 18 volt cordless tools too.

6 inch Ryobi circular saw
1/2 inch Ryobi drill to set the screws
1/2 inch Ridgid drill to drill the pilot holes in the decking.

The 18 volt tools are sooooooooooo handy.

I hate having to drag cords all over the work area.

Amazing how much work I can do on a charge.

The nastiest part of the entire job is using the cat paw to dig out the old deck nails.

The deck was originally nailed with special nails driven by an air nailer.

The nails back out with each expansion cycle (Wet/dry) seasonally, unlike the screws that stay pretty tight and can be easily removed if need be.

I set the torque limiter on the Ryobi to break free when the screws hit Flush. (Works so so)
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Last edited by Robyn; 08-13-2017 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 08-13-2017, 09:35 AM
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Beedee Beedee is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 404

Oh I hear you Robyn

Have been dealing with a leak in the house.

My house has vinyl siding, started at the bottom and tore off until I found the leak at the kitchen window on the second story.

Crappy flashing job when built.

All better now but I still have 2 small pieces of siding to install up at the top.

The reason they are not on is because this is on the south side of the house, with the heat we have been having, I just could not finish it off that day, was dehydrated and didn't want to go back up on the ladder, left it for the morning or sometime when it was cooler.

Part two.

Something was wrong with my head. My hair (what I have left) was for lack of a better word, sensitive.

Left it for about a week, when it wouldn't go away and seemed to be getting worse and this rash broke out, time to go see the doc.


I have Shingles on my head.

Here says doc, fill out this prescription.

Damn stuff makes me dizzy.

So from waiting for a cooler day to finish it off, I am now waiting to finish this course of drugs that he gave me before I even think about going up a ladder.

I am on my summer holiday from work, took 2 weeks off.

So many things i had planned but sitting on the couch not doing them because of the shingles. MY HEAD HURTS!


Oh well, it shall pass eventually.

Next year is my turn for the deck. After seeing how this side of the house is built, the deck is starting to scare me. I am betting that the siding behind the board is rotted.

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Old 08-13-2017, 11:29 AM
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trbankii trbankii is offline
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Location: South Central Pennsylvania, USA
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While you’re resting, you might want to take a look through this: Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide

I see a number of things that aren’t up to code there...
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Old 08-13-2017, 04:57 PM
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Robyn Robyn is offline
Missy Good Wench ( Moderator)
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Newberg Oregon
Posts: 9,423

I don't doubt the code thing.

It was built in the Summer/fall of 1993 and passed all inspections then.

Stuff changes
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:16 AM
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trbankii trbankii is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: South Central Pennsylvania, USA
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I’ve looked at four failing decks over the past few months and there was a collapsed deck on the news the other week. The main issues are flashing and lateral loading. Improper flashing leads to rot (obviously). The deck may support adequate loads when new, but over time that can decrease substantially. Most often, the issue is along the ledger. Likewise, a deck may be able to withstand the vertical loads easily but suddenly fail if a lateral load is placed on it. The codes have been updated to address these issues.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:33 AM
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Robyn Robyn is offline
Missy Good Wench ( Moderator)
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Newberg Oregon
Posts: 9,423

Makes good sense to me.

If the $$$$ were available I would have this entire thing torn off and an all new deck constructed using Trex or similar.

As far as any lateral loading goes it is highly unlikely that will happen.

The posts are sitting on good size concrete rounds that were poured in place and sitting on extremely firm material (Digout for the house was nearly on rock)

I suppose if something were to hit the deck and cause it to shift sideways that anything is possible.

The tall posts that hold up the south side (long run) are 4x4 and I plan to swap them out and install 4 x 6 posts .

I want to replace some of the diagonal braces with new and make some improvements in that area.

I sort of have a makeshift sensor to tell if things are moving... The Sat dish is bolted to one corner and any shift will screw up the reception.

The one thing about this house that is far different is that this is a Manufactured house that's on a full daylight basement.

The south side is the open side and the entire house it sitting on 12" wide flange steel beams that are supported every 10 feet on square steel tube posts.

The concrete walls on the North, East and West are 8" thick and 9 feet tall with industrial spec rebar

The steel tube posts are each sitting on 1/2 cu yd blocks that were poured on the hard deck.

The beams are anchored to the concrete rear wall and side walls with lateral tubes tying each of the beams to form a grid.

The tubes have X bracing every other pair in the vertical plane and and also horizontally between the beams every 3rd one.

There are six 6 x 12 wooden beams that sit on top of the wide flange and correspond to the main frames of the sections.

This is a Triple wide.

The house sections were rolled out onto the framework and located, then steel tube sections were located under each frame section and welded to the support grid.

After things were situated and welded the wood beams were located and the usual wedging was done to take out the bounce. (Normally done on a standard setup with pier blocks and wedges.

The 6 x 12 beams have steel channel uprights welded on each side of the wood to the wide flange beams to prevent any rolling in the event of a quake.

We are only scant measure off solid rock and the mountain is basalt that runs waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down.

Calcs were firgured for max reasonable loading, and then we added 200% just because we could

The east end of the deck is bolted to the steel chassis of each section.

The south side is bolted with lags into the 2 x 6 studs (Fastened to the ends of the wide flange beams)

Been too long ago, but there is a good likelihood there are also connections to the steel framing in there too.

To say its hell for stout is an understatement.
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