In the many years we have been installing the Under Deck Oasis ceiling product, we have not seen any serious issues with clogging due to debris. Only minor problems that are easily remedied.
According to Under Deck Oasis owner Tony Cobb, “it may be possible to clog the deck ceiling system with tree debris, but in our 10 year history with the product covering all of Canada and the U.S. it just hasn’t been a serious issue. In certain installations where this is a concern we can make the system more serviceable. Most likely if the system were to clog it would be from spring pollinated seedlings. Sometimes we see deck boards that are ¼” to ½” wide and you would certainly find more debris is such installations.”
The major issue that leads to the under deck system clogging is overly large, or irregular gaps between the deck boards, that allow the debris to get though. The worst problems happen in the Spring time, when seed pods and other tree debris are most prevalent.
Pine needles are also a primary culprit because they can get through the gaps between deck boards so easily. Most of this debris will wash out of the system without any problem, but can sometimes bunch up around the outlet of the downspout.
Usually the best way to remedy a clog around the downspout outlet is to remove the Under Deck Oasis panel closest to the outlet to gain access and remove the clog by hand.
In cases where clogging may be a serious issue, we can take preventative measures to neutralize the situation.
The first prevention method is too add a larger 3×4 commercial sized downspout. A larger downspout allows for debris to move more easily out of the gutter.
Another preventative measure we have used is to add a small access area in the deck board directly above the downspout. This is achieved by cutting a small section out of the deck board, that can easily be removed and replaced repeatedly, like a trap door. That way if there is a clog, you just pull that piece up, remove the clog, and replace it the small section of wood.
Another option – especially if your downspout ties into a below ground drainage pipe – is The Drain Guard. The Drain Guard is a filter system that installs into the center of a downspout capturing the leaves and debris, with a removal basket for easy cleaning.
We can add Drain Guards at the time of installation, or you can purchase them and install them yourself. Find out more at www.draintileguard.com.
Like anything, every now and then you may want to clean off the panels of your Under Deck Drainage System. You can clean the system as often as you need to. A general rule of thumb would be to clean the system when you need to clean your house. There are no set rules, if it is looking a little dirty, then clean it.
To clean the panels, we recommend using TSP (trisodium phosphate) cleaner. TSP is a cleaning agent, stain remover and degreaser, and can be purchased at most home improvement stores.
TSP can be harmful to the environment such as house plants and pets, so use with discretion. Dawn dish soap is another excellent alternative. Or, good old Windex glass cleaner works pretty well too. Use a soft sponge, soft cloth, shammy, or old t-shirt to avoid scratches.
Most deck owners know power washing can really bring life back into a deck. But if you have the Under Deck Oasis under deck ceiling system installed, can using a power washer damage it?
Most of the time, power washing the upper deck surface will have no effect at all on the Under Deck Ceiling. However, there are a few cases where you could potentially have some problems.
For one, the settings and strength of the power washer you use may need to be taken into consideration. If you are using a super deluxe ultra-mega high powered washer that runs off an old Chevy V8, then yes, you may cause some damage. If you are using a regular power washer, on normal settings (1300-3000 PSI), there shouldn’t be any problem. Another thing to watch out for is the width of the gaps between the deck boards. Large gaps can let more high pressure water through.
What can happen with high pressure power washers is that some of the water will push itself out through the deck system and cause leaking. This is usually not a permanent problem, and the system will return to normal functionality (leak free) when you’re not using the power washer.
The bottom line is, just be smart and take a little care when you power wash, and there should not be an issue. We recommend you move any valuables that cannot get wet out from under the deck before you try the first time.
If you already have the system installed, can you stain your deck without damaging the system?
Yes you can! Deck stain will not damage the system at all. It may stain the inside of the system a little, but no one can see that anyway. If an excess of stain gets through the deck boards (from spilling or overuse) it will run out of the downspout just as water does.
There has been some concern about continued or even extended mold growth after the panel system is up. What we have found to be the case is that mold growth actually stops, and in some cases we have seen it recede completely. Occasionally we will have to pop out a panel for one reason or another, sometimes a few years after the original install, and in these cases have never seen mold increase.
Owner Tony Cobb on the issue: “I have seen deck joists that were covered with green mold when we put the system up be free from mold a year or so later.”
The determining factor seems to be heat. It appears that it stays too warm under the deck when the system is up for the mold to thrive.
At the very least, the Under Deck Oasis system hides that ugly mold, so you won’t need to look at it anyway.
If you have seen something different with mold please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org