home exterior deck

Underdecking Must-Haves: Outdoor Living

Do you wish you had a relaxing space to hang out and enjoy your yard? Does water drip from your second story deck make it impossible to use the space below when it is raining? If you want functional space that stays dry and doubles as a finished outdoor entertaining area, adding an under deck gutter system may be just what you need.

Underdecking ― the process of attaching material to the underside of a deck ― can help create a covered space that can be used year-round.

The area under a raised first-floor deck is typically damp, with mold or mildew forming on the slab and beams underneath. Use a deck roof to keep the area dry and usable for storage. Additional benefits of implementing a deck roof include:

  • Bird proof
  • Self-cleaning
  • Handles snow loads
  • Guaranteed not to leak or sag

How it Works

An aluminum under deck ceiling system acts like a dropped-ceiling and channels rainwater and snow away from the space between the decking planks. The overlapping panels attach to a framework that angles water, snow, and debris into seamless gutters and downspouts. By moving moisture away from the house and foundation, your patio, furniture, and other contents stay dry. Depositing the water in specific areas prevents the ground around your home from becoming oversaturated.

Clearance requirements for underdecking are minimal. On the high end, the deck roof hangs about two inches below the beams with the slope dropping an eighth of an inch for every foot.

Aluminum vs. Vinyl

The temperature fluctuates significantly throughout the year in Minnesota and Wisconsin, from scorching hot summers to frigid winters. Snow and ice may thaw and freeze multiple times in a single season. Unlike vinyl, aluminum alloy does not contract and expand with the temperature. This means that the deck ceiling will not develop gaps or cracks over time. Here are three more reasons why aluminum is a better choice:

  • Aluminum is rigid and stronger than vinyl, so it will not sag or buckle over time. As the under deck system can feature light fixtures, fans, speakers and other outdoor accessories to make space feel warm and inviting, it is important to ensure the material used is supportive.
  • Birds and squirrels often choose to build their nests in traditional gutters and under the deck against the beams. The deck ceiling uses overlapping panels that are enclosed with flashing, effectively critter-proofing the area.
  • Aluminum alloy requires very little maintenance, and you can power wash or stain your deck as you usually would. Dish soap or glass cleaner can be used with a soft cloth, sponge or shammy to clean the panels without scratching the surface.

Finish Your Yard in Style

Once your under deck system is in place, give your home a finishing touch that reflects your personality with concrete patios and hardscaping. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

  • Maximize your space by using natural stone and extending it beyond the covered patio area.
  • Create walkways to your outdoor space with stamped or broomed concrete services.
  • Extend your outdoor season with a fire pit or similar feature. It makes a gathering cozy, whether you are having a party or a quiet evening for two.
  • Add functionality to your yard with an outdoor living space.

Completing your yard with design details can enhance curb appeal and increase property value by up to 25 percent. At All Exteriors, we work with you to create your perfect outdoor space, from concrete patios to retaining walls and driveways. For more information on creating the yard of your dreams, contact us today!