Four Things to Look for in a Deck Gutter SystemBy Dave Kile
If you are building a second-story deck, consider installing a deck gutter system. The main benefit of a deck gutter system is to keep the space beneath the deck dry. A dry under deck area allows the homeowner to add more living space outdoors.
A deck gutter system is a drainage system that captures water, so it doesn’t drip through the elevated deck boards to the area below. Once the area beneath the deck is dry, the homeowner can finish the space with utilities, gas lines, lighting fixtures, and more. This additional outdoor living feature not only adds living space to a home; it also increases its value.
Picking the Right Deck Gutter System
There are a variety of deck gutter systems available to create a dry living space below a deck. When choosing a deck gutter system for a project, here are the top four things to keep in mind.
Quality of Materials
An under-deck gutter system works perfectly as long as the material captures and diverts the water correctly. Products installed above the joist use a rubberized membrane that drapes down between each joist bay. Sloping the membrane, so one end is lower than the other, allows the water to flow to a downspout at the end of the joist. The main advantage to using a membrane material for the deck gutter system versus metal, vinyl, or PVC is that there are many options for a ceiling choice. For homeowners who want a wood ceiling, a membrane system is an ideal solution.
Ease of Installation
We all heard the expression that the devil is in the details. When it comes to deck gutter systems, ease of installation is a top consideration. A good deck gutter system should be easy to install by either a homeowner or a deck builder. The project should not take more than a few hours to complete using a handful of tools. When deciding which deck gutter system to install, be sure to understand if the project requires an authorized installer or if you can do it yourself.
Easy to Maintain
Most deck gutter systems are easy to maintain. In homes where there are a lot of trees over the deck, the gutter may need to be cleaned out occasionally. Cleaning the gutter should not require anything more than a hose and a broom. In heavily wooded areas, it is smart to include an access panel that can be cleaned out regularly to prevent build-up in the deck gutter system.
There are several deck gutter systems available from the industry’s top decking companies such as Trex, TimberTech, and CertainTeed. A product manufactured by a reliable brand typically comes with a strong warranty that lasts for decades. If you run into a problem, you can rest assured that any of the leading decking companies will give you the support you need.
Get the Most Out of Your Investment
Building a deck gutter system below a second-story deck is a wise investment. To get the most value, select a deck gutter system manufactured with quality materials from a reputable brand that is easy to install and maintain. Then you can enjoy your new outdoor living space for years to come.