At a point in time, you may need to make your deck an extension of the main house to create extra space for a verandah or entertainment and leisure. However, your main concern may be how to go about this with air bricks present at the damp proof course. We aim to find the answer to your dilemma; what do you do about the air bricks when you want to build the perfect deck?
So, can you cover air bricks with decking? It is not advisable to cover the air bricks in a house when building a deck. The deck will prevent effective air circulation in the spaces below a house, and this may cause dampening. Air bricks are common in timber houses and have a void underneath to promote air circulation. Without proper aeration in the wood, it can become humid and moist, attracting fungi and algae, leading to wood decay.
You may need to set up your deck, but your concern is what would happen if you set it on top of air bricks. Will it affect the ventilation, will it cause dry rot? Read on as we explore whether you can have the deck you want while maintaining the air bricks' ventilation purposes.
Most experts have reservations regarding the blockage of the house's airways by structures such as wood. Decking next to an air brick may cause ventilation problems in your house. Thus, building the deck away from your house is an ideal choice.
You may not have enough space in your compound at times, so you must construct the deck next to the house where there are air bricks. In this case, it is best to ensure that you make a cut out on the side-lying on the air brick and put a grill of the brick size. This design will ensure continued air circulation through the air bricks to the wood underneath.
Also, note that if the deck near your house is slightly above the air brick, it can cause water leakage through the brick spaces, especially when the deck is slightly sloping towards the wall. Therefore, the moisture will make the wood under your house wet and eventually rot unless you take necessary action to treat the timber.
Moreover, constructing a deck next to your house where there are air bricks may cause humidity imbalance. For instance, during summer, the temperatures under the deck may be higher than the normal temperatures outside.
Thus, hot air can pass through the ventilation and into the timber beneath, which causes them to expand and contract when the humidity drops significantly. This continued expansion and contraction can quickly wear the wood.
Air bricks are usually present in houses with suspended floors. Similarly, most of these floors are made of timber floors. However, if you remove this timber floor and replace it with a concrete floor, you can deal with space. Also, it will also render the brick ventilators useless since the void will no longer be present. Here, you can easily build your deck.
We have established that decking on top of air bricks may not be a welcome idea, given that it may interfere with the ventilation. Thus, building your deck next to the air brick may cause adverse effects to both your new deck and the ground below your suspended floor. Let's dig deeper to find out some reasons why you may want to reconsider decking over air bricks.
First, this construction can significantly contribute to dampening and moisture accumulation. We attribute this to the deck blocking free air circulation in and around the raised floor. Once you install a deck on the air brick, you hamper the space's aeration making the moisture accumulate.
This damp environment will cause decay to the timber below the house's floor. Similarly, this decay is likely to put your floor at risk of sinking. Hence, keeping your floor dry will help save you the cost of constructing a new floor.
Besides, if the deck tilts towards the wall and slightly above the air brick, it can pour water on the wall causing wetness that will definitely destroy your walls, whether made of timber, bricks, or blocks.
The water may also flow through the bricks' spaces and into the ground below the suspended floor. This wetness will affect the timber below your house, causing it to rot slowly. For houses with no timber underneath, the dampness will cause molds and algae growth, thus preventing air circulation.
Rodents and other life form's infestation may also prompt you to reconsider over air brick decking. If you wish to keep rodents away from the deck and the area under the floor, you can avoid constructing the deck close to the air bricks.
The air bricks or the deck may be rat-infested; therefore, it is best to avoid having these structures close together. The rodents may easily take advantage and shift from the air bricks to the deck and vice versa, which leads to the destruction of the deck's wood.
The holes on the air brick are also a good passage for rats, and when the mesh holes are big enough, they can easily move from below the floor into your new deck.
We all need an elegant and functional use of the outdoor; thus, there is a need for the perfect wooden deck. As much as we may disagree on covering up the ventilation, there is an alternative for you if you badly need to set up your deck. This method is not only a brilliant alternative, but it also helps reduce dampness. Consider composite decking.
In this method, they use technology to create recycled plastic that is less porous than wood. Therefore, with this material for your deck, you need not worry about it transferring moisture. Besides, if you build your deck with this material and have well-sized gaps in between, you can have proper aeration under the deck, and this structure will not interfere with your air bricks.
The only trick here is to ensure that the deck's level is similar to that of the floors indoors. This way, there is no tilting, which may cause rain to seep into the house. If the deck outside is higher than the house's flooring, it may be challenging to prevent dampening.
Frequent dampening of the walls may eventually destroy the brickwork. This situation is highly likely when the damp accumulates and spreads to the internal wall's structure. Therefore, you need to ensure that the composite works in your favor by having it well placed and well leveled.
Wood hinders direct airflow and is likely to cause dampening when it is frequently exposed to moisture. Therefore, if you have to place your deck, then the ideal way to go is to avoid directly blocking the air bricks; this way, air can still freely circulate. Building your deck above, below, or even close to the air brick may cause dampness to the wood below your house.
Therefore, we suggest the option of composite decking. The material is unlike wood, so you need not worry about dampening or bacteria growth. However, if the air bricks can still allow air penetration and aeration, you may build your deck next to the air bricks even with the wooden deck system.
With this information, you can easily decide which way to go, and we trust that you will consider proper aeration even as you aim to build your dream deck.
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