building a deck on a slope

Building a Deck on a Slope: Is It Advisable?

Many homeowners wonder if there are advantages to having a slope on their deck or if it’s possible to build a deck on the slope of a slanted property. The answer is yes. However, there are a few factors to consider before building the deck.

An experienced deck builder can make precise measurements, check the soil’s stability, and calculate the slope angle for your deck. The experts at Artisan Outdoor Craftsman build the best wood decks in Fishers, IN, and discuss the benefits of building a deck on a slope. 

deck on a slope

Benefits of Building a Deck on a Slope

Waterproofing ensures that the deck looks great and remains safe for many years. However, if deck builders do not consider a slope during the planning phase, it can significantly shorten a deck’s lifespan. Building a slope into your deck can direct water away and has the following benefits:

Prevent Water Pooling

After rainfall, water and puddles may collect on an improperly sloped deck. Depending on the temperature, the water may evaporate at a slower rate. Bacteria and insects like to breed in water, leading to the spread of disease.

Even with waterproofing, decking materials may sustain damage from standing water. The easiest way to ensure that water flows away from your home is by creating a deck with a slope. A gradual slope can prevent water from pooling around your deck.

Avoid Rot and Decay

Rot and decay may occur due to water seeping into the deck. Most decking materials give way without proper water drainage. The deck will require replacement or repair if it has rotted wood, which can lead to mold and mildew.

Rotting wood can weaken and soften the stability of the deck. Family members and guests may accidentally fall and injure themselves if the deck becomes unstable. A deck with a slope ensures that water will drain away and not damage decking materials. 

Stop Foundation Damage

A deck without a slope may cause significant damage to your home’s foundation. Over time, water can seep into the foundation and degrade your home’s structural integrity. The water damage may cause cracks in the foundation, making the home sink into the ground.

The home may become uninhabitable if the foundation fails. That’s why it’s advisable to direct water outside the home. Building a deck with a slope provides a natural defense and allows water to flow using the appropriate path. 

When Do Decks Need a Slope

Decks should have a slope when attached to your home or if you have parallel deck boards. Consider calling a decking professional if your deck stays wet for a long time after a rain shower. An expert can check your home’s drainage and decking materials for water decay.

Every deck is different and requires a certain slope or angle to divert the water. Usually, a one-to-two-percent slope allows rainwater, snow, and condensation to trickle down your deck. A deck builder can assist with installing and creating a deck slope.

How To Slope a Deck for Water Drainage

Planning for harsh weather and changing seasons is imperative when designing your new deck or remodeling an existing deck. The correct slope is crucial for deck water drainage. Sometimes, deck posts need a small adjustment to tilt the frame in the right direction.

Before building a deck on a slope, an expert needs to perform calculations. Even a fraction of an inch can make a huge difference. Those standing on the deck won’t notice the slope because it’s just steep enough to allow water to flow.

Most deck installers recommend that your deck not stay level. Experts recommend that the deck have a slope of about one-eighth of an inch per foot. At this angle, water can flow freely down the deck. 

Building a Deck on Sloped Ground

An expert can visit your home and evaluate how high up the slope you want to build the deck. A raised deck that is higher in elevation requires more materials. A decking professional can assist in building the deck, especially if the slope is steep.

A deck installer will use the same methods to create a slight angle or pitch for water diversion. Let’s look at the steps an expert decker takes to install decking on a slope.

Digging Holes for Deck Footing

A deck installation team starts the installation process by digging two holes until they reach stable and compact soil. It may be necessary to dig deeper if your property has loose, unstable, or sand-filled soil. The installers will place the deck footings inside these holes that serve as a foundation and support for your deck.

Use Concrete To Fill Holes

After placing the deck posts, the next step involves filling the holes with concrete. The deck installers will check the level of the posts as the concrete dries. Then, the installers will dig holes and perform the same tasks on the opposite side of the deck.

Attach Floor Beams

The deck installers will then attach the floor beams. The installers ensure that the amount of spacing between floor beams complies with the building codes. After that, the installation of the deck railings can take place. 

Final Steps

Next, the deck installers will place the upright support or balusters along the edge of the decking. The installers attach the posts to the top rails using deck screws. After the deck construction, you can choose the perfect paint or stain for your new deck built on sloped ground.

a deck on a slope

Work With an Experienced Deck Company

Artisan Outdoor Craftsman provides custom decking services to homeowners and businesses in Fishers, IN, and nearby areas. We have a team of professionals who can help create an ideal outdoor space for your home. Our staff can answer any questions or concerns on home improvement projects involving decks, patios, and outdoor living.

Contact Artisan Outdoor Craftsman in Fishers, IN, today for more information on a new deck or building a deck on a slope. Call us at (317) 342-5955.