DIY waterproof front porch

Easy Fix For Porch Leaking Into Basement

Years ago, many homes in the Northeast had front porches built directly over the basement foundation. The only thing holding back the cold snowy weather and the rain was 1 inch thick tongue and groove pressure treated porch decking that was painted to seal it from the elements and keep the water out.

This is not a good idea. It doesn’t take long for the paint to peel, and seasonal temperature changes will cause expansion and contraction, leaving hairline gaps that break the paint seal on the tongue and groove line. When bad rain storms hit and the wind blows just right, the covered roof offers little protection and the rain leaks into the basement. During the winter months, blowing snow sits on top of the porch, then on slightly warmer days it melts and leaks into the basement.

The water leaking down saturates the wood between the tongue and groove. The tight space blocks air flow and keeps the wood damp, leading to rot and decay.

fix for leaking porch into basement

This avid DIY guy and property investor in Buffalo, NY was forced to paint the porch every year and clear off snow throughout the winter. This was a lot of maintenance and just not always possible. When he bought the property, he knew it would all need to be redone. He started searching for solutions to create a water proof porch surface that would not rot and continuously leak into the basement.

He found the only products really made for this solution were special exterior vinyl sheets that could only be purchased and installed by certified installers. These sheets didn’t even come wide enough to cover his entire porch, which meant seams would need to be thermo-welded with a special heat gun.

Our customer found the average installation cost for these systems was $4,000 – $5,000, and quite frankly he did not like the look of these products. He said they just looked like the cheap flooring sheet goods you put on the interior of your house. In addition, he was having a hard time trusting the longevity of these products since they haven’t been around that long. He also worried that the seams would eventually fail or tear as shoes caught on on them.

It reminded him of the composite decking products that have had so many product failures and class action lawsuits. To top it all off, as a DIY guy who takes pride in doing quality work himself, paying someone that kind of money to lay down some sheets and essentially melt them together with a heat gun was like rubbing nails down a chalkboard for this home owner.

Here’s the solution our customer came up with: our Ipe deck tiles. They look much better, allowed him to save a lot of money by doing it himself, and kept everything rot-resistant and waterproof.

First he laid a few tiles the length of the porch to see where they would need to be cut:

He decided he wanted to have a continuous 6 inch Ipe board screwed into the outer rim joist and framing the entire porch. This way the tiles could float without any penetrations in the ice and water shield. Once he accounted for the width of the picture framed border, he cut the tiles to fit and decided to put the cut pieces against the house so there would be full tiles on the outermost edge of the porch.

He fixed a few rotted spots in the original porch by cutting them out and replacing them with one inch thick pressure treated wood, matching the existing material. Next he laid ice and water shield over the entire porch according to the manufacturer’s requirements, overlapping the ice and water shield appropriately and keeping everything water positive – starting at the outside edge of the porch and overlapping the seams as you work your way toward the house.

Now that the entire porch was waterproofed, it formed a suitable foundation on which to float the tiles.

One important and obvious note to consider: make sure your front door will clear the tiles when floating on top with the deck tile connectors. In this case our customer had enough room, but he was planning on replacing the old outward-swinging door with an inward-swinging one, so it wouldn’t matter anyway.

We custom milled a 2 x 6 board to match the thickness of our 20 x 20 Ipe deck tiles. This board served as the picture frame for the deck tiles.

He also replaced the old crumbling concrete steps with Ipe decking, white vinyl risers, and vinyl railing.

ipe deck tiles on front porch

DIY waterproof front porch

ipe deck tiles

Our customer said he’s been absolutely thrilled with the results, and the deck tiles have exceeded his expectations. He said the installation was a breeze since they just snap together with the DeckWise tile connectors. This picture is at the end of the first winter in Buffalo (you can see the snow pile in the back at the curb). The deck tiles still look amazing and he still can’t believe how much money he saved opposed to those ugly vinyl sheet products.

He needed 65 of our 20 x 20 Ipe deck tiles, which cost him just over $1,000. He purchased the railings from a local building supply store for around $700, and he got the Ipe deck boards, DeckWise tile connectors, and vinyl products for his risers and skirting. In the end, he completed the project for around $2,000.

Everyone in the neighborhood has complimented the new look – even the pizza delivery guy!

You can purchase deck tiles directly from us and we’ll ship them to your house or job site. No job is too big or too small.

This Brazilian Apitong Will Become Trailer Decking

Our mill workers at one of our Brazil mills are wrapping up their daily production tally of rough sawn blanks. This Angelim Pedra hardwood is mostly used for heavy duty trailer decking after we kiln dry and shiplap the boards at our finishing mill. It’s an economical specie, also known as Brazilian Apitong, and is more ecologically harvested than the Malaysian Apitong used on tractor trailer decking throughout the US. Angelim Pedra is also used for flooring, decking, furniture and a variety of industrial products. Whether you need to deck a small utility trailer or a whole fleet of flatbed trailers we are your direct source for hardwood lumber.
angelim pedra, apitong

Large Angelim Pedra Log

This is an Angelim Pedra which is also know as Brazilian Apitong. This is one massive log and it’s a good example of the perfect time to harvest a large tree that’s no longer producing seeds and is starting to center rot and die. The selective extraction allows for smaller seed bearing trees in the forest to thrive and let’s us utilize good lumber before rot/disease set in. If this tree were to sit too long rotting away it would stop producing oxygen and start putting out carbon dioxide. Some awesome slabs came off this Log at our sawmill this week. Give us a call for all your live Edge slabs, hardwood flooring, deck tiles, beams, decking, and cabinet grade lumber needs.

Angelim Pedra

Large Angelim Pedra Log

Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba) Beams

It’s Brazilian Cherry Beam Day at our mill in Brazil, or as some of the guys call it “Workout Day”. These long, hard, and heavy Brazilian Cherry beams give both the guys and the machines a good workout. This specie is not only strong but also nearly last forever outdoors in various climates. Need a long lasting, super strong hardwood for an outdoor structure, pergola, entrance way, or other exterior beam design element? Give us a call as we ship these in job lots or container loads to job sites around the globe. These are 3×6 beams but we are also milling 3×8, 3×10, 3×12 and various other sizes to order.

Jatoba Brazilian Cherry Beams

Live Edge Slab Flitches

Our sawmill in Brazil just finished cutting some live edge slab flitches. A flitch is more than two consecutive cuts from the same log. This gives your project that unique book matched grain (a mirrored image) and similar color/figure throughout the entire project.

Manufacturers of Live Edge Slabs, Hardwood decking, Siding, Exotic Hardwood, Deck tiles, Hardwood Flooring, FSC Certified wood products, Urban reclaimed hardwoods, and more!

To view a fraction of our live edge wood slab inventory visit www.WoodSlabs.com if you do not see what you are looking for give us a call 941-388-9299 we are cutting new slabs daily and taking new loads out of our kilns weekly. www.WoodSlabs.com

big live edge slabs

Hardwood Kiln Sticks Last Longer

We strive to utilize every little piece of the log possible. This week at our mill in Brazil we cut some kiln sticks from smaller stock to better utilize as much of our logs as possible. Our kiln sticks are shipped to lumber drying facilities in the US where companies utilize them to separate lumber for proper airflow during the drying process. You can see some of our flooring blanks “stacked on stick” in the background, with each layer having a perpendicular kiln stick for separation. Whats so special about these kiln sticks? They are made from various South American hardwood species that are incredibly hard, durable, insect resistant, rot resistant and have a much longer life span compared to kiln sticks that are cut from American species like Ash, Oak and Pine. These hardwood kiln sticks will save lumber drying facilities money in the long run and help them produce a more stable product and reduce sticker stain.

kiln sticks, wood stickers

Hardwood kiln stickers