Calling all handy men, women and children!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by abijnk, May 23, 2010.

  1. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #1
    I live on the third floor of an apartment building and the brilliant people that built the place decided to make the balconies on this floor out of boards (all the rest are tile). The problem with that is, if something gets dropped or spilled it goes straight through to the second floor neighbors balcony. Because of this, we've just avoided using it, but as the sunny So Cal summer approaches my husband and I would like to use that space without fear of spilling on our neighbors.

    What we are trying to think of is some sort of solid-ish something we can put down so that if something is spilled we will have time to clean it up before it falls on our neighbors heads. Does anyone have any ideas?

    Since it is a rental it has to be something completely temporary. The space is 3' 10" wide by 18' 6" long and is made up of painted 2x4's.

    I thought perhaps we could find some rubberized mats to put down (like the kind you see when you walk into Walmart or some place like that), but I'd imagine those are really expensive, and I wouldn't know where to find them...
     
  2. RITZFit macrumors 65816

    RITZFit

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    In my Corner
  3. abijnk thread starter macrumors 68040

    abijnk

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #3
    I've thought about that, too, but didn't know if they let liquids through. That's my #1 concern, stopping liquids.
     
  4. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #4
    The cheapest answer would be to use 1/2" oriented strand board (OSB), available in 8'x4' sheets (of which you would obviously need 3). Weatherproof, inexpensive and can be finished with paint or varnish.

    unnamed.jpg
     
  5. abijnk thread starter macrumors 68040

    abijnk

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
    I'm worried that, like plywood, the sheets wouldn't necessarily be flat and would rock or something. Do you have any experience with it?
     
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #6
    Did you just ask skunk if he had experience with wood?
     
  7. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #7
    Lots of experience (^). Just screw the sheets down into the 2"x4"s.
     
  8. renewed macrumors 68040

    renewed

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
    #8
    Not sure that's going to fly on a rental.
     
  9. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #9
    How about an offcut of a roll of vinyl flooring?
     
  10. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #10
    They would warp after being rained on. Oh wait, it's southern California! ;)

    Cut it to size, then roll it up with the top side facing out and let it set that way for a few hours at least. That will make it curl down towards the deck, not curl up at the ends.
     
  11. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #11
    You could give Caulk Backer Rod a try. You'd need to get a size large enough so that it fit snug between the boards but it would probably prevent spills from leaking through long enough to sop them up if you have something like a sponge handy for an accidental spill. It could also easily be removed without causing any damage and is relatively inexpensive.
     
  12. renewed macrumors 68040

    renewed

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
    #12
    After much debate I decided the best answer is to just not spill. ;)
     
  13. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    #13
    Easier said than done when entertaining guests, I suggest getting a heavy plastic visqueen plastic at least 6 mil or better to lay down first you can take a small piece of dowel and tuck the plastic between the boards just enough to direct the flow of any water away from the building (this is assuming your deck boards run pointing away from the house) tuck shallow near the building and tuck deeper away from the building to divert water.

    You can use some double sided sticky foam tape to secure the plastic to the deck boards to minimize slipping and so you don't create any holes in the lumber (this can be cleaned off the original deck lumber with solvent for the next resident. Then you can place interlocking tiles like these shown as an example only http://www.coverdeck.com/ over the plastic barrier with more double sided tape to secure the tiles to the barrier doing no damage to the rental in the process.

    To make sure you are tucking the plastic correctly give it a water test (preferably while your neighbors are not using their deck below) and adjust the tuck so that all water flows away from the building structure.
     
  14. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #14
    Or coordinate patio times with the neighbor below! ;)

    (or seating arrangements - they sit on the left, you sit on the right)
     
  15. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #15
    Provide the guys downstairs with a large umbrella.
     
  16. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #16
    Couple things. One, if the current deck is built to drain through it, it's not likely sloped away from the building. Thus, if you sheet over the 2x6s, you run the risk of allowing water to pool against the structure -- something your landlord will look poorly upon, and which could be quite costly to you if anything bad happens. Also, unless you caulk between the joints of the OSB (a good solution, just make sure you're getting exterior grade) the liquids will simply be passing through fewer holes.

    If you have enough of a lip at the door to the deck, I would attach some sloped 2x material to the bottom of the OSB. The general rule of thumb is to slope at 2%, although with a material as flat as OSB is, you can probably get by at 1% if you don't have room for 2%. Over a distance of ~46", a 2% slope would be just under an inch difference between the height at the building side, and at the far side.

    I would also strongly suggest that you risk putting a few (stainless steel or galvanized) screws into the deck below. If you don't, you'll have to run the sleepers used for sloping under the OSB continuously between sheets to keep them together so that you can caulk the seams. If you decide to not screw into the decking below, you can always get some high-friction material (think skateboard decks) to put on the underside of the sleepers to keep the whole assembly from sliding around.

    Also, be forewarned that anytime you put something in contact with a wood surface, moisture will accumulate there, and when the object is removed there will be a moisture stain on the wood. Happens under deck plants all the time.

    Hope that helps.
     
  17. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #17
    I would try and get some sort of outdoor rug to put down on it.
     
  18. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    #18
    Indeed, which is why I suggested laying plastic and tucking it between the boards in a manner so that the water can be diverted away then lay interlocking tiles over the plastic layer even if the deck itself is drain through and is built perfectly level doing this in such a way can prevent any pooling and creates channels for any liquid to flow away from the building in more sensitive areas to weather and not soak the neighbors heads in the process if the boards run parallel to the building rather than out from however the method is still somewhat effective if some sort of divert is attached to the sides of the deck to redirect the flow away from the building in combination with tapering the angle of the plastic drainage I scribbled a really quick sketch of how the plastic sheet sublayer could work as a drain in either situation:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. abijnk thread starter macrumors 68040

    abijnk

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #19
    #2 is what the deck looks like. It is not open on either end, either. On one side it is up against a wall and on the other there is a divider where it continues on to the neighbors deck.

    What do you guys think about getting a sheet of vinyl/linoleum to just lay down and tack at the ends? The balcony never gets wet (soaked) because of several reasons, not the least of which are that it is in Southern California and it's covered, so I don't know how concerned I should be about potential moisture damage.
     
  20. davidwarren macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    #21
    You are thinking way too much about your neighbors wellbeing; the saw the deck setup before they rented, they knew what they were getting into. Invite them up for some beers if it makes you fell better.
     
  21. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #22
    Loose vinyl will inevitably curl and present a tripping hazard. Tacking it down presents drainage issues. Even if you do not collect rain on the deck, you will still get condensation and dew collecting both on and under the vinyl.

    Here's a thought though -- what if you got some vinyl and glued it down to some 1/2" plywood, say in roughly 4' x 3'-10" sections. Those would be light enough to pick up and put down as you need them so that you aren't causing problems under the surface from long-term contact. Sure, you'll still have some gaps between the pieces that could leak, but you'd be a lot more protected than with your 2x4s . And those pieces could be stacked vertically on your deck against your wall when not in use.

    Really, how much of a problem is this? Are you guys really super spill prone? And are your downstairs neighbors on their deck all the time?
     
  22. renewed macrumors 68040

    renewed

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
    #23
    This is what I'm wondering lol. It's like it'll happen the second their feet hit the deck or something. The way I see it is enjoy the deck your landlord decided you should have, if you spill and hit your neighbor tell em it's not your fault the boards are split and apologize.
     
  23. abijnk thread starter macrumors 68040

    abijnk

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #24
    We have a... mentally challenged... dog who, everytime we have her out there pees instantly. That's a big problem. Plus, if we want to put a grill out there we would be potentially spilling hot grease on their heads if the drip pan got knocked or something.

    At first I thought trying to come up with a solution for the boards would be the easy option, but now I'm starting to think the easy option would be to just not use it...
     
  24. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #25
    Go to a hardware store and find those rolls of plastic matts they sell. Roll out the length you need, cut it and put it down. It's waterproof, weather proof, cheap, and temporary.
     

Share This Page