Decks make an excellent outdoor accessory that can turn an ordinary outdoor space into a perfect social gathering location. Unfortunately, residential and commercial decks can cause erosion to the soil underneath.
When rain hits your deck, the water pours through the small cracks and onto the soil. Over time, this can erode the soil and make your deck less stable. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to prevent erosion and protect your deck. Below are five tips to help you keep your deck and soil healthy.
1. Prepare the Ground underneath the Deck
One of the best ways to prevent erosion under your deck is to prepare the ground underneath. First, trace the outline of the deck with a hose, rope, or sting. It is critical to ensure no underground plumbing or services are in this area when digging.
Although you may want to remove the grass under the deck, it’s best to keep the grass in order to prevent erosion. Removing grass or sod makes it more difficult for the area under the deck to drain water. The grass will likely die from insufficient sunlight; however, the remaining topsoil will help drain rainwater.
2. Pick a Durable Material to Place under the Deck
After properly preparing the ground, you’re ready to apply decking material. To prevent erosion and mold, you want to find a moisture-resistant material to place under the deck. For example, inorganic mulch like gravel makes an excellent material to place under a deck and prevent erosion.
Since most decks consist of wood, it is vital to find a material that keeps water away from the deck’s posts, as this can create mold. Placing gravel around wooden posts and underneath the decking area is an excellent way to protect your deck and reduce the risk of erosion.
For maximum erosion protection, place a landscaping sheet directly on top of the grass or sod. Then, place gravel about six inches thick on top of the sheet. It is critical to avoid using plastic under the deck as it can collect moisture and lead to more rot or pests.
3. Dig Small Trenches to Drain Water
Keeping water off of your deck is nearly impossible. However, you can direct rainwater away from it. To do this, dig trenches along the edges of the deck and between the boards.
Your trenches should start at around eight or ten inches deep. Then, add another inch for every ten feet out that you dig. The trenches should be at least ten feet away from your deck; at the end of each trench, dig another hole at least 12 inches deeper than the actual trench.
These trenches help take water away from your deck when it rains, reducing the risk of erosion and unwanted moisture.
4. Install a Lattice Skirt around Your Deck
Wind is another contributor toward erosion. When wind meets with moisture under your deck, it erodes the soil and weakens your entire deck. Adding a lattice skirt around the edges of your deck can hinder wind damage while adding a unique aesthetic to your outdoor space.
When looking for lattice skirt options, avoiding materials prone to moisture buildup is critical. Clarksville residents have endless material, color, and style options for making a personalized selection. Therefore, you can find a lattice skirt that is functional and aesthetically pleasing.
5. Plant Shrubbery around the Skirt
Decorative shrubbery is another excellent means for deterring wind from entering below your deck. We offer various options, from beautiful flowering bushes to tall grass—all can add to the look of your deck while protecting it from erosion.
Placing shrubbery around your deck’s lattice skirt adds more wind protection and keeps the soil in place. When seeking deck shrubbery, look for plants that fit your local climate and the type of soil you have. Not all plants thrive in extreme heat or places with high winds, so it is critical to find shrubbery that will endure the elements of your area.
Get Professional Help for Your Deck
Call local professionals to ensure that you properly install your deck and prevent erosion to your favorite outdoor hangout spot. House Repair and Care and Handyman Services can help you with professional deck repair and other services.
House Repair and Care and Handyman Services in Clarksville, TN has the tools and expertise needed for quality deck work and maintenance. Call us today at (931) 645-0382 to learn more about our services!