Home » House Exterior » Deck & Patio » Install a Deck Drainage System

Install a Deck Drainage System

Bob Jackson
Last Updated on
by Bob Jackson

Discover New Living Space Beneath Your Feet

The current economic crisis is causing many homeowners to “hunker down” and stay put. Many shrewd homeowners are looking for innovative ways to add cost effective living space to their existing home.  What many of them don’t realize is that this space could be right beneath their feet.

An elevated deck creates a lot of moist, moldy and unusable space underneath.  With a deck drainage system, the space under a raised deck can be transformed into a cozy and lively focal point of family life.

The DEK Drain System

DEK Drain, based in Columbia, MD, offers a very simple and efficient deck drainage system with all components made from the same specially designed rubber membrane.

There are two DEK Drain options.  DEK Drain TOPSIDE® is for new decks and is installed over the joists before the deck boards are put down.  DEK Drain UNDERSIDE® is designed for existing decks and is installed under the deck.

The protective DEK Drain TOPSIDE® system tucks up neatly between the upper deck joists and can only be seen if you look directly up while standing under the deck.  The DEK Drain panels can be completely hidden by installing a finished ceiling (material of choice) to the bottom of the joists.

This premier drainage system is extremely easy to install with no caulk or sealant required.  You can do-it yourself or use a professional contractor. With only four parts, there is little that can go wrong with installation.  The product is designed for use with both new and existing construction.  Toll free phone support is available to assist with any installation issues.

The DEK Drain TOPSIDE® system is installed after the posts, beams and joists are in place, but before the decking is installed.   DEK Drain TOPSIDE® is designed to channel water into a collection gutter creating a complete water diversion system.

The cost is based on the size of the deck and ranges $4.00–$5.00 per square foot.  Properly installed, DEK Drain will provide years of service with minimal maintenance.

The Four Parts of the DEK Drain TOPSIDE® System

All four parts of the DEK Drain TOPSIDE® system are made of the same flexible and durable rubber membrane.

1. Flashing
The Flashing directs water runoff from the wall of the house into the panels.

2. Bibs
The Bibs are installed at the end of the panel to prevent the discharge of water from overshooting the collection gutter.

3. Panels
The Panels are stapled to the top edge of the joists to capture any water filtering through the spaces between the deck boards.  All of the deck framing stays dry.

4. Cap Strips
After the panels are installed, the Caps are centered on top of the joists to prevent water penetration where the drain panels overlap on the top of the joists.

The Flashing Strip must be installed along the entire length of the ledger board (the board attached to the house) and channels water runoff from the sidewall of the house into the panels.

Flashing Strip
Flashing Strip
Flashing Strip Tucked Under the Deck Boards
Flashing Strip Tucked Under the Deck Boards

The Bibs are installed vertically at the Discharge end of each Panel and direct the water into the gutter.

Bibs at Discharge End of Each Panel
Bibs at Discharge End of Each Panel
Bibs Direct Water into the Gutter
Bibs Direct Water into the Gutter

The Panels are shaped like a trapezoid with one end wider than the other.  When the Panel is stapled into place, the additional width automatically creates a deeper trough providing the required pitch to drain the water away from the house.

Below are photos of the panels from above and underneath the deck.

DEK Drain Panels - View from Beneath the Deck
DEK Drain Panels

After the Panels are stapled into place, the Cap Strips are centered and stapled on top of all the joists, covering the overlapping edges of the Panels.   The Cap Strips divert water away from the overlapped joint and into the Panels.   The rubber membrane material is self-healing and contracts around penetrating fasteners, forming a seal.

Enhanced Outdoor Living Space

Enhanced outdoor living space is one of the most popular features homeowners are seeking today.  This trend is reinforced by a wealth of new products to differentiate outdoor living space offering a level of personalization once reserved only for interior spaces.  These amenities include ceilings, recessed lighting, fans, fireplaces, heat lamps, hot tubs, hammocks, porch swings and audio/visual systems.  .

A deck drainage system can also create new space for increasingly popular sunrooms or screened-in porches, which provide an escape from rain and bugs.  For some, these spaces offer a nostalgic connection with pre-air conditioned nature.  The screened-in porch becomes a summer family room.

People also value a dry lower deck to store firewood, lawn furniture, children’s toys, lawnmowers, garden tools or other equipment best kept out of the weather.

Deck in Mercer Island, WA built by M.D. Legacy Construction
Deck in Mercer Island, WA built by M.D. Legacy Construction
Deck in Hampton Beach, N.H. built by Dockham Builders
Deck in Hampton Beach, N.H. built by Dockham Builders

An Environmentally Conscious Lifestyle

Everyone wants to spend time outside, and the trend is toward a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.  People want a home with a comfortable flow between indoor and outdoor living spaces. Outdoor remodeling is one improvement that almost always offers a good return on investment.

Deck drainage systems have also been recognized for their contribution to the environment by inclusion in custom “green” homes.  The efficient use of space is the first principle of green building.  A home with a modest footprint requires fewer building materials and less energy to heat and cool.

Deck drainage systems also capture rainwater for other uses, reduce erosion, and prevent the growth of mold and mildew.  Many of the plastic systems on the market today will break down relatively quickly due to ozone oxidation and will require replacement. The DEK Drain system will perform indefinitely and carries a fully-transferable, non-prorated Lifetime Warranty!

Contact DEK Drain

You can learn more about the DEK Drain system at www.dekdrain.com or call 1-866-DEK-DRAIN (1.866.335.3724).   The email address is info@dekdrain.com

cap stripschannel waterdeck drainage systemdeck framingDEK Drain
Bob Jackson
Bob Jackson
Technology product manager by day and a prolific handyman in the evenings and over the weekends. Bob was the founder of the original Handyman How To website and that tradition continues on this site with excellent new handyman content into the future.
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *