Buying Walking Deck Systems



Walking deck systems not only waterproof the space below, but beautify the deck too.
Walking deck systems not only waterproof the space below, but beautify the deck too.

What types of walking deck systems are available for your  deck?

There are many different walking deck systems available throughout the United States. Depending on where you live may determine what types of coatings are available to you regionally. Some walking deck systems are more popular  in some areas than others. Some systems are not yet sold/installed in every state and in Canada.

 When A Buying New Walking Deck System

We recommend that you use our Questions to Ask list that we developed that will help you understand the different deck coatings you might be presented with as options, interview contractors with and do your due diligence as any Board member or anyone should. Investigate whether or not the product you are considering has been tested and rated by ICC Evaluation Service Inc. This independent evaluation service tests manufacturer’s products for fire resistance amongst other criteria. Click here to look up Division 7 Traffic Coatings ICC Evaluation reports on each manufacturer’s page listed on our site. (This will open a new page on ICC’s website.)

New in 2007, reports issued by ICC are taking Wind Ratings into account for deck coatings. This will be a very important issue to watch out for; some deck coatings are rated for buildings in high wind zones-up to 120-150 mph. Some deck coatings have ratings for wind zones that are much lower-80 mph. The other tricky factor that will trip up many is the building height. Many coatings are limited to buildings that are 40′ in height or less. Has your installer read and understood the plans? If they specify a product that doesn’t meet the ICC codes and city building requirements, there may be a liability issue. This problem applies to all different types of deck coatings.

California and Florida codes are also listed in the ICC-ES reports of some manufacturer’s, certifying that they meet California or Florida specific building codes.

Fire ratings for deck coatings available are Class A (ASTM E 108), Class B and so on as well as a separate “One Hour Rating” ASTM E 119). Thoroughly check out any coating you may be considering for it’s fire rating. You don’t want to find our after the fact that you need a fire rated coating over your deck. Click here to go to Professional Roofing magazine; an article on fire ratings will help you understand. You can also click here to go to Underwriters Laboratories for further fire rating information.

It is extremely important to know and understand that One Hour Fire Resistive deck coatings can have very different requirements in order to get a One Hour rating. An example is Polycoat Products Polycoat Walking Deck ICC rated ER-4789 urethane system requires 3/4″ Plywood with 2″ x 10″ joists. Then look at the requirements for Desert Crete from Hill Brothers. Their ICC ESR-1661 report requires 5/8″ plywood over 2″ x 8″ joists.

There are big differences with walking deck systems, one in terms of costs of framing, certainly, but also calculating loads, footings, and clearances.

Check plans carefully before allowing just any bid on a Class A/One Hour Fire Rated deck coating-you might get burned!

Each manufacturer listed has their own page with all of the systems they make, data and ICC reports listed or linked to. (Individual mfg pages being updated now as of 5/26/16!)



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