We always protect pressure-treated deck (1) and stair
framing (2) by flashing edges where water might collect and
cause rot. This is vital here in the West, because the
preservatives don't penetrate very well into the hem-fir lumber
used in this part of the country.
Several companies have recently released products designed for
this purpose; probably the best known is Grace's Vycor Deck
Protector. For 10 years, though, we've been using Polyken
626-35 Foilastic, an aluminum-foil-faced adhesive tape from
Tyco Adhesives (800/248-7659,
www.tycoadhesives.com). Like other
peel-and-stick membranes, it grabs well and self-seals around
fasteners. It is also more resistant to UV rays than similar
membranes (for up to a year in direct sun, according to the
maker) and can be painted.
We put it on the top edges of deck joists, where fasteners are
concentrated and water tends to sit. We also put it on the
vertical cuts of stair stringers (3), where the notches go
right to the untreated center of the material; merely painting
the cuts with preservative can't provide the same level of
protection. Foilastic comes in 50-foot rolls in widths as
narrow as 2 inches and as wide as 36 inches.Andrew Hutton is a site supervisor for
Moroso Construction in Pacifica, Calif.
Quick Brick Shelf
If you think this looks like an upside-down footing form,
you're right. A Colorado contractor used 28-inch Bigfoot forms
(Bigfoot Systems, 800/934-0393,
) as quick and
efficient support shelves for several large masonry-veneer
porch columns. Rather than waste concrete forming wide piers
all the way down to the footings, he relied on the Bigfoot's
flared shape to support the masonry; the 12-inch-diameter pier
below will supply plenty of vertical strength. After the
Sonotube and Bigfoot are filled, another column will be formed
on top, leaving room for the masonry around the circumference.
Note the footing in the bottom of the excavation. It was formed
using a Fastbag form (Fab-Form Industries, 888/303-3278,
), a single-use fabric bag
that gets reinforced as needed and then filled with concrete.
— David Frane