Bill Leys Saves Homeowner on El Viento $20,000

A homeowner on El Viento in Pismo Beach called me; he had received a bid from Deck Tech Inc from Grover Beach. They wanted an absurd amount of money, over $20,000, to replace two small decks off the bedroom & living room. Converted to square feet, the cost was over $90 per square foot! Could I come over and give my evaluation?  Of course I said…

Inspecting the deck, I found a waterproofing system that was in fairly good condition despite being nearly 20 years old. The problem I found was the drains had started leaking.

A Deck Repair That Would Cost the Price of a Good Used Car-

Deck Tech’s answer to this wasn’t oh we can fix those leaky drains..No, their answer was to tell the owner that for $20,000+ they would strip off the deck coating and the plywood, smash open stucco walls and redo everything. Now for that kind of money they were going to use copper flashings, not necessary IMO, and stainless steel metal lath for their decking system, again, way overkill. They sent the owner a Powerpoint display filled with scare tactics and conjecture. Until a deck is opened, the damage is unknown. Sometimes there is massive damage underneath, often times not.  For $20,000 + you can buy a very nice used car…or let Deck Tech steal your money doing unnecessary work.

A Second Opinion-

My answer was simple-start with opening the two drains by removing the coating around them, inspect and determine a scope of work then. So that is what the owner did, allowed me to open the drain area and inspect. We found solid plywood and a rusted drain flange.

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New drain with freshly painted deck is ready to serve for many more years.

I was able to replace the two drains on the deck, tie in new waterproofing with the existing, texture the repair and repaint the whole deck for less than $500.

The owner is very satisfied with my repairs and with yesterdays rain (Sunday 11/20) the deck passed with flying colors, no leaks and it’s ready for winter!

Don’t let Deck Tech’s scare tactics bamboozle you into parting with your money, call me, Bill Leys at 805-801-2380 today for a free inspection of your deck problem. Cracks, leaky drains, rusted flashing…fixed for $500 or less, in as little as a day.

 

Deck Expert Bill Leys Fixes DeckTech Inc’s Failures at Harp Springs

Does your Harp Springs Enclave deck have cracks in it? Does your deck have rusted flashing at the edge where the spiral stairs connect to the deck?

I’ve heard that many do, similar to this one I fixed last week for a client.

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I also heard about Decktech’s lame sales pitches to get you to buy into their ADMA agreement, which is simply a suckers bet designed to let DeckTech win by getting you to pay for the warranty work they should be doing for free. $300 a year may not sound like much, but over 5 years it’s $1,500.00. That buys a lot of repairs and maintenance! I fixed the cracks on the deck shown above and cleaned and  resealed the Life Deck system for $500. Far less costs for far more work.

Owners with the Life Deck/Westcoat concrete system can have their deck cleaned and resealed about every 3-5 years based on use, exposure to weather and UV. There isn’t any need for much maintenance other than that recommended by the mfg. If you have cracks on your deck and Decktech’s answer is to put some caulk into it, stop them. Insist they open the deck back, remove all rusted metal lath and reinstall the decking system. If they won’t and you want your deck fixed right, resealed and better than before, call me Bill Leys at 805-801-2380 for an appointment today.

Owners of the Granite Deck system should know that Granite Deck is not an ICC ES evaluated walking deck system. No evidence exists to show that it is Class A fire retardant

 

Job Profile-Everyone Loves Rubber Duckies, But No One Loves Rubber Decking…

Our latest job we just completed is fixing two rubber decks on a home in Cambria that were in Stage 1 of failing…Stage 5 being the deck is dead.

While we know everyone smiles and loves Rubber Duckies on their decks (or bath tub or pool or wherever…) everyone we meet with Rubber Decks from Santa Barbara Surfacing, Ron Murrell Waterproofing or DeckTech ends up hating their decks…

The litany of complaints for rubber decks runs from to hard to clean, rough on my bare feet, needs constant yearly maintenance to keep it alive…to the coating is splitting at the plywood seams to we have dryrot and leaks from it failing.

The simple facts are that rubber decks CAN’T resist UV rays for long without needing to be repainted…every year or two without fail, or the result will be they fail.

Like  cancer, rubber decks, once they split are just in a slow death spiral…the owners of this home in Cambria had their rubber deck for about 4 years and then had to have it fixed…then it started failing again…splits at the plywood seams. We came to inspect it after their general contractor recommended us.

We showed them our Desert Crete system, explained how the metal lath would help reinforce the deck and reduce plywood seam movement and most importantly reduce maintenance to inspecting every 3 years and repainting the deck every 3-5 years. The clients liked that and they liked the fact that Desert Crete is a Class A fire resistant coating that will better protect their home in case of fire. They also liked that Desert Crete is a bonafide Pedestrian Traffic Coating system where as Tufflex and NCS Granite Deck are not.  Click the link and see for yourself that Desert Crete is listed here and see what systems are not here…

After some plywood that was rotted was replaced by David Drew Construction, we came in and covered the existing rubber coated decks with Desert Crete. We stapled our lath right through the rubber coatings and applied our cement base coat, fiberglass and resin, a secondary protective coat of cement over the glass and then textured and painted the decks.

The owners love their new foot friendly decking and we think our  rubber duckie friends will love it too!

When your rubber decks have worn out their welcome, let us show you why Desert Crete can’t be beat. Call me, Bill Leys at 805-545-8300 today for a fast free estimate on your rubber deck replacement.

 

Deck Tech’s “Granite Deck” System is Really Just Carboline Polyurea?

We’ve seen Deck Tech’s contract, in more than a few cases…and in all of them and on their website they talk about “NCS Granite Deck” and it’s magical abilities…

In researching their product I found some info around but not a lot…

and seeing Deck Tech on some jobs I just saw buckets with their logo on them, but never any with a “Nevada Coatings” label on them.  So I always wondered what was up with that?

I recently received a call from a Deck Tech customer who has some concerns about his job and was doing some research on the web and found me…

we met and I saw his job…he asked me about Nevada Coatings and what I knew and then showed me Deck Tech’s contract saying Nevada Coatings but then he showed me a photograph of a bucket of Carboline ET polyurea.

On a whim yesterday I called into Carboline and was put in touch with Tim, the local Carboline rep. In a phone conversation with him he confirmed that he was aware that Deck Tech bought Carboline. Although he wouldn’t  elaborate, he said that he heard Deck Tech bought their clear top coat sealer from a local source (I’ve confirmed as part of my investigation that it’s Miners Ace Hardware) where they buy a Life Deck sealer and masquerade it as part of the system.

So Deck Tech appears to have dropped all pretense at labeling Carboline products as NCS labeled product.  It also appears they have bastardized the system by using a Life Deck product…

So you have to ask if this system is an approved deck coating, tested and evaluated by independent entities and proven by years in the field in service? If you have doubt, what can you rely on?

Let us show you Desert Crete by Hill Brothers Chemical Company…call me, Bill Leys for a free evaluation of your next deck project and a frank discussion about “Granite Deck” vs Desert Crete. 805-545-8300.

Job Profile-Keen View From Kern St Decks in Morro Bay

Our latest job wound up on Kern Street in Morro Bay recently.

On this project the home had four decks that needed repairs…after they were made by a contractor, we installed decking and flashings.

For this job we installed stainless steel flashings and Desert Crete to the four decks. We also provided for slope in the decking system so the decks would drain off after it rains.

The owners now have a tough easy to care for deck system that will last for years with minimal maintenance.

See why Desert Crete should be your choice for your deck; get a fast free estimate from us by calling me, Bill Leys at 805-545-8300 today.

 

 

Job Profile-Los Osos Homeowner Learns the Hard Way That Deck Repairs Shouldn’t be Left To Amateurs

A job we just completed should serve as a reminder to other owners contemplating deck repairs to be wary of handymen who say they can fix your deck. A few years back the owner of this Morro Rock view home in the Los Osos Cabrillo Estates neighborhood had a crack on her deck. It was a long straight crack in the middle of the deck.

She had called a handyman who assured her that for a couple hundred bucks he could fix it for her. The repair seemed to work for a while, but last year the owner found water intruding into the ceiling below the deck.

Her son, who is an Angie’s List member, looked up deck contractors in the area. He found us listed at Angie’s List with a great rating, so he reached out to us for assistance.

My inspection of the deck found a split coating over a plywood seam. There was evidence of dry-rot in the plywood. The old coating was a slip sheet system, While they can work well, once split and open, they will allow water underneath to run everywhere. In this case the water did run down the sloped plywood deck and into the framing and walls at the edge. When we opened the deck we found far more extensive damage than anticipated.

We called in the experts at Pacific Builders of SLO to make repairs to the framing and redo the stucco walls. They quickly rebuilt the framing and walls and installed new stucco. With new framing and plywood to go over, we installed our Desert Crete exterior flooring system.

Although the deck size was only about 80 square feet, the financial costs to repair the damage to the building was quite high considering the small size. We recognized the problems immediately and knew what to do, which did not include caulking a split deck seam. At best caulking is a temporary band aid.

If you notice cracks or splits or buckling on your  decks, don’t rely on Joe handyman to fix your deck. The experience we have will give you the peace of mind knowing that we can fix your deck properly.

Call the Deck experts at Central Coast Waterproofing for your  fast free inspection. call me, Bill Leys at 805-545-8300 today.

Why Annual Inspections of Your Waterproof Decks and Stairs Pays Rather Than Costs

In a recent blog post on their website, Deck Tech, one of our competitors, put forth the proposition  that “All Deck Coatings Fail”… when asked if a deck coating application will last for (the) life of structure if installed correctly? 

Ron McKenna, owner of Deck Tech, then contradicts himself by saying that the deck coating in the example he gives failed because of faulty installation.  So as “bold” as Ron McKenna’s claim is, it’s a half truth.

There is a big difference between “fail” and “wear out”. A car’s engine will fail if you don’t change the oil every 5,000 miles (perform maintenance). A cars engine will wear out after 300,000 miles of driving when you changed the oil, radiator coolant and performed all other normal and regular maintenance. The pistons will wear, the cylinders will pit, but that’s something we expect after driving all those miles. But that car will have paid for itself many times over with the small costs of maintenance over 10-12 years vs driving it for 2-3 years and never changing the oil and the engine blows up. The cost to replace the engine is the same, but the cost per mile is significantly lower when that car was driven for 300,000 miles before having to replace it vs driving it for 60,000 miles.  .

Buildings are designed and built for a  long life span; heck we see buildings that are hundreds of years old that are still standing tall. Maintenance and repairs have kept them standing. Homes and structures are built with many different components that have various life spans. Some components are intended to last the life of the building-framing for example. Other components have finite life spans. Paint for example provides some weather resistance to your siding, but will not last for much more than 5-10 years before needing to be reapplied.  Deck coatings are a component that can last a long time…with a big BUT…

The truth is that all deck coatings have a finite lifespan. Some coatings are designed to last 12-15 years and others have a 30 + year life expectancy…with the majority in the middle somewhere. These finite maximum life spans are usually only obtainable when three things occur.

1.)  The framing and plywood substrate the coating is applied to is built to the highest standards of construction, not to the minimum standard. When a builder/contractor says to me that they built the deck to meet code, I say it’s like getting a C on a test. Yes , you passed, but mediocrity in the framing assembly may mean the deck coating assembly will not last for it’s intended life span.   Over-building a deck with 2×12″ joists with screws and glue fastening the  1 1/8″ plywood will provide a much better foundation to waterproof over than a deck with 5/8″ plywood and smooth shank nails fastening it down.

2.) The deck coating system has been installed correctly. This is very important. A deck coating assembly that is improperly installed has almost zero chance of lasting for it’s intended life span even with regular maintenance. Coatings must be applied to meet the manufacturer’s minimum application thickness. A coating that needs to be at least 3/16″ thick will probably not last 20 years if it’s only installed at 1/8″ thick. Coatings need to be lapped up the vertical rise of L flashing,  decks need proper sloping to drain water off an edge or to floor drains.  There are multiple minute details that must be performed properly or even the best system will meet an early demise.

3.)The deck coating system is inspected and maintained on a regular basis. All deck waterproofing systems must be inspected annually for signs of  problems. Many coating systems such as urethanes and especially DeckTech’s Granite Deck  MUST be maintained with regular applications of UV resistant sealants/paints that protect the waterproofing. The paint/sealant is like a sunblock one applies to their skin to protect it from the damaging effects of UV. Without regular applications of sun blocking sealants, the coating WILL fail from UV degradation. Once UV has damaged a coating, it’s downhill from there with a shortened life expectancy. , Other coating systems such as our Desert  Crete cement based system only need to be painted to maintain their aesthetic appearance.  Cement is basically impervious to UV damage.

Decks Fail Due to Lack of Inspections, Lack of Maintenance and/or From Being Improperly Installed. 

Not a week goes by it seems without our company receiving a phone call or email inquiry from a client who has a leaking deck or stairs saying “It’s just a small leak.”

The  client may have noticed a water stain on their ceiling below the roof deck, maybe  they found a soft spot by a drain…any number of reasons can trigger that phone call or filling out our VIP lead/contact from our website.

Sadly, we discover that many of these “small” leaks have caused extensive hidden damage underneath that creates an expense that no one anticipated.

The slideshow of photograph’s below show a number of decks that failed due to lack of maintenance and/or they were improperly installed and detailed.

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In almost every example in this slideshow, an annual inspection probably would have found the small seemingly innocuous symptoms of an ailing deck and with regular maintenance and repairs, prevented a much larger problem from developing.

So many times we hear our clients say “I never knew I had to inspect or maintain.” They unfortunately believe that their home is “maintenance free” with stucco siding, a tile covered roof and a coating on their deck.

Central Coast  Waterproofing offers free (offer limited to individual homes that are not for sale or in escrow) visual inspections of deck coatings-whether it’s our system or one of our competitors systems.

We inspect decks using  a list of approximately 25 different critical areas.   We inspect the deck and the related components-flashings, railings, siding, any penetrations through the deck or in components above it. We check the floor for squeaks, indicating moving plywood, we check the scuppers or drains to ensure they are clear and the coating materials are properly adhered.

So often we find that the deck itself is fine, but that satellite dish that was installed…well it’s causing or may cause a leak because Bluto, the dolt who installed it, doesn’t care about your weather resistant barrier he just punctured during the installation.

Inspections are extremely important. Don’t neglect your deck coating or you risk getting an ugly unexpected surprise in a large cost to repair framing and interior finishes.

Maintenance doesn’t cost, it pays. Consider that the average cost of  maintenance is around $500-$1,000.00 every three to five years; now  compare that cost to the average cost of a full deck replacement plus framing and plywood replacement at around $5,000- $20,000.

 

Get your free, no obligation deck inspection done by the professional’s at Central Coast Waterproofing. We have the experience and know how to inspect the critical areas that so often are the source of so much heartache.

Have deck project you are ready to start? Get a free no obligation quote on our Desert Crete decking system and start your deck off on the right  foot.

Call Bill Leys, The Deck Expert, at 805-545-8300 today and schedule your inspection or quote. If you’d rather send us a VIP request via our contact form below.