Jan 27, 2024

Why Deck Skirting Is Beneficial For The Longevity Of Your Home

Deck skirting does wonders for the visual appeal of your deck. It hides whatever is underneath the platform while adding texture and, in some cases, a variance in tone. Aside from appearance, deck skirting serves a vital purpose in protecting and extending the life of your home. It keeps unwanted items and creatures from landing underneath the house and wreaks havoc on the building's supporting structure. Thus, leaving out the skirting could be a mistake.

We'll break down the reasons why deck skirting is a beneficial addition to your home's exterior. Most of these reasons relate to nature — from pests that may nest underneath the house to issues caused by the weather. If your deck doesn't have skirting, you're leaving the foundation, crawl space, and-or basement (if applicable) vulnerable to damage by the outdoor elements. Of course, some skirting materials, such as metal, stone, and wood panels, present more of a barrier against debris, water, and animals. Regardless of what type you choose, you'll see that some degree of protection is better than no protection as long as your barrier allows for some ventilation to ward off mold accumulation. Plus, you'll still have access to the space underneath the house just in case something does get lodged in that area.

Depending on where you live, you might be concerned about animals crawling underneath the deck and making themselves comfortable. Thus, you'll want to keep raccoons, opossums, rodents, skunks or even pets from going under the deck and eventually causing damage to the structure. For example, they can scratch or chew on wires or the wood posts supporting your deck. Furthermore, they can start burrowing under the structure and cause damage to any plumbing, basement windows, or foundation. In the worst-case scenario, these critters can dig far enough until they find an entry into your home.

Rather than giving animals easy access to the structure under the deck, you can install skirting as an effective barrier. This measure would prove to be far less costly than foundation or infrastructural issues due to the wildlife inhabiting the space under the deck. For additional protection, you can also install a screen along the inward-facing panels of the skirting to keep the smaller animals out. By protecting the foundation, in this manner, you're also maintaining your home's structural integrity.

Also, deck skirting keeps out debris and prevents the buildup of water and mold underneath the deck and the house. Depending on the weather patterns in your location, high winds can blow paper, small branches, leaves and other lightweight objects under your deck. So if you have to bend slightly or crawl to enter this space, cleaning up will be tricky or impossible if the joist is too low. For this reason, deck skirting gives you an advantage because it keeps objects out of this space and away from the foundation.

Concerning water, skirting can prevent puddles from forming, preventing mold from developing. Once mold accumulates underneath the house, the spores can likely get inside through basement windows or small cracks. So skirting wards off what can become a serious health issue as time passes.

This type of barrier also keeps water from pooling under your house, protecting the foundation from prolonged contact with moisture. Likewise, if you have a basement or crawlspace, the skirting can stop flooding from occurring in those areas. And because heavy rain can bring about erosion, the skirting would also hold back any mud that slides towards the foundation if the yard is sloped so that the runoff would go towards the house. This protects the foundation from outside pressure.