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Deck advice - How much is aeration underneath required?

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[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 15, 2005
2851 posts
246 upvotes

Deck advice - How much is aeration underneath required?

Renovating my deck. Replacing the roof etc.
Structure will remain the same but I want to modify it a bit so that I can use the space in winter.

I am running into one issue though.
In the picture we have a cross-hatch at the bottom. I want to seal it off and replace it with a skirt.
But I've read you need to let underneath breathe.

How necessary is this? My deck is covered and it's pretty dry underneath.
During the winter I have a method to enclose everything as well (not the vinyl you see at the top).

Can anyone advise? Any input?
Is there some where i can go to read up on this?
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  • Deck Front.jpg
My Heatware
Location: Toronto
5 replies
Deal Fanatic
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Jan 6, 2002
6328 posts
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Toronto
UHhh... it's pretty dry underneath, just perhaps, because it is well aerated ?
Si Tacuisses, Philosophus Mansisses
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
19162 posts
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GTA
It's correct to be concerned about moisture if you're sealing it off. If no water can get in, then a vapour barrier over the dirt would help prevent moisture from coming up from the ground.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
11738 posts
6928 upvotes
Paris
My deck is 44” off the ground at the low point and I skirted it and put in double doors to access a 9 foot wide by 14 foot deep spot to store my trailer and originally my motorcycle. I stopped water from coming in from above with plastic ridgid panels run to an eavestrough drain system and put in 3/4 crushed over landscape fabric. Its not air tight, but nothing stored under there moulds.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 15, 2005
2851 posts
246 upvotes
hoob wrote: UHhh... it's pretty dry underneath, just perhaps, because it is well aerated ?
Let me put it another way, there are no signs of water underneath. It is just dusty and covered in concrete slabs
I base my "pretty dry" on the fact that I have been under there multiple times to find items my kids dropped through the floor boards.
My Heatware
Location: Toronto
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
17911 posts
8804 upvotes
I would assume you still have gaps between each of your deck boards that would allow it to "breathe" if that was your concern. I mean, almost every wood deck will have some sort of gap between the boards and I assume yours is. I assume since your kids drop stuff through the floor boards the gaps are significant enough it would breathe through there.

One thing to keep in mind is that once you seal it off you cannot get under as easy so make sure you do anything you need to first (e.g. regrading underneath is commonly needed).

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