Whether or not you should put gravel under deck blocks depends on several factors. If you are putting a floating deck on the ground, then it’s a good idea to use gravel as a base. The gravel helps to evenly distribute the weight of the deck and also prevents settling or shifting of the blocks.
Gravel also improves drainage, which is very important for decks that are built in areas that collect a lot of water or are prone to flooding. If you have a raised deck, gravel is a good idea to help provide stability and increase the life expectancy of the deck.
Gravel also helps fill in any voids between the dirt and the foundation blocks so the deck is stable and even.
Is gravel necessary under deck?
Yes, gravel is necessary under a deck. It provides a stable and durable foundation, helping to ensure the longevity of the deck while also reducing the risk of settling and movement. When a layer of gravel is added beneath the deck substructure, it prevents water from pooling and causing erosion or freeze-thaw issues during the winter.
Gravel also keeps soil in place and can provide a buffer between your deck and any hydrostatic pressures that may be created from the surrounding soil. Installing a layer of gravel also makes it easier to level the structure, adding extra stability and preventing settling in the future.
How do you prepare ground for deck blocks?
To properly prepare the ground for deck blocks, it is important to follow these simple steps:
1. Use a garden hose or a spirit level to mark the ground surface in the desired design area.
2. Dig a hole that is approximately 40 cm deep and 40 cm wide.
3. Place gravel or ground stone into the hole to form a compacted base for the deck blocks.
4. Place the deck blocks into the hole and press down firmly until they have been secured in the base.
5. Make sure to level the blocks by using a spirit level or similar tool.
6. Backfill the area with soil until the blocks are completely covered and the ground is level.
7. Add a thin layer of sand to ensure the ground is flat and to help with drainage.
8. Once the ground is prepared, you can begin laying down your decking.
Can deck blocks sit on the ground?
Yes, deck blocks can sit on the ground. These precast concrete blocks are designed to provide a stable foundation for decks and other outdoor structures. They are typically circular in shape, and have indentations to allow for posts and beams to be attached.
They can be stacked on top of each other and secured in place with galvanized steel fasteners for additional support. When placed on level ground and properly supported, these blocks can provide a reliable base for your outdoor structure.
It is important to ensure that the footing is secured firmly and level, and that additional blocks or supports are used as needed to prevent sinking or shifting.
Do you need to put anything under deck blocks?
Yes, under each deck block you should place a 4-6 inch (10-15 cm) layer of gravel, rock chips or other drainage material. This is necessary to prevent moisture from coming up through the ground to the deck joists and could cause the lumber to rot or other damage to the deck.
Additionally, it is important to make sure the deck blocks are level and even. This will ensure the deck is structurally sound and can support the weight. Finally, it is important to check the deck blocks periodically for any signs of settling or need for additional stabilizing.
Can I use concrete deck blocks instead of footings?
In certain circumstances, concrete deck blocks can be used in lieu of footings. This can be more economical and practical, but there are certain limitations. When considering using concrete deck blocks instead of footings, you should consider the following factors.
First, the area should be flat and free of obstacles. The blocks should be placed every 4 feet along the perimeter, with some leeway allowed to adjust for minor irregularities. This will provide stability and extra support for the deck.
Second, the deck surface should not be greater than 3 feet above the ground to ensure that the blocks can provide enough support. Additionally, the deck should not exceed the weight-bearing capacity of the blocks; very large or heavy decks may require additional support from concrete footings.
Finally, construction should meet local codes and regulations; some cities will require additional levels of reinforcement even if concrete deck blocks are used.
Overall, using concrete deck blocks instead of footings can be a practical and economic solution for small decks. However, you must ensure that your deck meets local codes and requirements, as well as take into account the weight-bearing capacity of the blocks.
Should I put crushed stone under my deck?
It is generally a good idea to put crushed stone under your deck if it is built on soil. This will help keep moisture away from the wood and prevent rotting or warping. Additionally, it will help maintain the stability of your deck and make sure it is safe to use.
Putting a thick layer of crushed stone beneath the deck can also help protect the wood by helping prevent weeds or other plants from growing near it. Additionally, if your deck is near a pool, having crushed stone underneath will help prevent any water splashing up from reaching the wooden parts of the structure.
Finally, crushed stone can also help keep your deck from shifting or sinking over time as the soil underneath it naturally shifts.
Will deck blocks heave?
Deck blocks are usually made of concrete and, depending on the application and type of block, can be susceptible to heaving. Heaving occurs when a solid material is subjected to external forces, such as the natural movement of the earth, causing it to displace and become unleveled.
Concrete deck blocks typically have a lower resistance to heave than other methods of securing a deck, such as pouring concrete footings, because they rely on the strength of the soil beneath. If a block is resting on soil without enough strength or if the soil has a high freezing-and-thawing cycle, the block could heave over time.
To prevent deck blocks from heaving, it’s important to install them correctly. They should be resting on solid, compacted soil and should be level. You can also prevent heaving by regularly checking the blocks and making sure they are still level and properly centered.
Can you build a deck without putting posts in the ground?
Yes, it is possible to build a deck without putting posts in the ground. Deck blocks, or floating footings to support the deck. Pre-made concrete piers are the most reliable option and come in various sizes such as 12″ or 16″.
If you are looking for something more makeshift, try using deck blocks that can be stacked and arranged your own way. These blocks come in various shapes and sizes and can be used to support deck beams and joists very efficiently.
Finally, if you are looking for a completely floating deck, try using floating footings that are specifically designed for this purpose. Whatever options you choose, make sure it is safely constructed and meets building code requirements.
Should deck boards touch the ground?
No, deck boards should not touch the ground. Deck boards will be exposed to moisture and rot if they are in direct contact with any kind of moisture whether it be rain, snow, or even humidity in the air.
This can cause the deck boards to warp, crack, and break over time, which will require costly repairs or complete replacement of the decking. Additionally, it can also create a haven for mold and mildew to grow, which can be a health hazard.
To prevent this, deck boards should be spaced out and held off the ground with support posts, either attached to the deck frame or sunken into the ground. Proper flashing should also be used to ensure rainwater doesn’t pool and damage the deck boards.
Can you build a deck on cinder blocks?
Yes, you can build a deck on cinder blocks. However, it is important to take into consideration the weight of your overall construction before proceeding. Generally, it is not recommended to make a deck that is supported only by cinder blocks.
Not only can they easily shift and cause instability, but they also will not be able to handle the weight of a deck. It may be better to use concrete footings to provide more structural integrity to the deck.
Additionally, it is important to install pressure-treated wood or other water-resistant material on top of the blocks to help protect the deck and provide some additional stability. If you use cinder blocks to build the deck, it is important to make sure the blocks are level and secure for a safe and stable construction.
Can I lay decking on gravel?
Yes, you can lay decking on gravel. However, there are a few important things to keep in mind. First, the gravel should be flat, level, and firmly compacted. The decking should not be placed on loose gravel or a gravel base that has not been properly prepped.
Also, it is important to create a solid base using pavers or concrete slabs to ensure the decking is secure. To prevent the decking from being unstable, you should use spikes or posts to create additional support.
In addition, it’s important to check local building codes to find out if there are any rules or regulations that must be followed when laying a deck on gravel. Finally, be sure to use a moisture barrier and galvanized screws to protect the decking from moisture.
With the proper preparation, laying a deck on gravel can be a great way to add extra outdoor living space.
How do you support a deck without posts?
One way to support a deck without posts is by using beams and joists. Beams are long and span across the part of the deck that you want to support, while joists are shorter and run perpendicular to the beams.
Beams should be firmly secured to the house or other structure, and joists should be secured to the top and bottom of the beams. When constructing the deck, make sure to use pressure-treated lumber and to use a deck fastener at each connection in order to ensure your deck is strong and secure.
You should also use footings, which are concrete structures with steel reinforcements, to help spread the weight load. Using these methods, you can create a sturdy support system for your deck without having to use posts.
Does a freestanding deck need footings?
Yes, a freestanding deck will need footings. Footings are important because they provide the support and stability necessary to ensure your deck is secure and safe. They also help protect the deck from ground movement, such as frost heave and settling, as well as provide insulation against moisture and water.
Without proper footings, your deck will not be strong and secure, and will be more susceptible to movement and damage over time. Different types of footings can be used, such as concrete footings, rock footings, and block or brick footings, and the type of footing you choose will depend on the size of the deck and the soil conditions in your area.
Ultimately, footings are essential for the long-term quality and safety of your freestanding deck, so it’s important to get the right ones for your project.
Can deck blocks hold a hot tub?
Yes, deck blocks can hold a hot tub. Deck blocks are perfect for supporting the weight of a hot tub. Depending on the size of the hot tub, 4-6 deck blocks should be used to evenly distribute its weight.
It’s important to keep in mind that the ground must be flat, level and stable in order to ensure that the deck blocks can adequately support the hot tub. Additionally, make sure the deck blocks are secure and level on the ground and that the hot tub is centered and level again on the blocks.
Furthermore, you may want to reinforce the foundation of the blocks with concrete or reinforced steel, especially if the hot tub is particularly large and/or heavy. When comparing the support of deck blocks to other hot tub bases, it’s important to note that deck blocks require more work upfront for preparation or might need to be reinforced with something stronger, such as concrete or reinforced steel.
The support from deck blocks is strong and works great for smaller hot tubs and spas. The preparation that goes into setting up the deck blocks is well worth the effort for the peace of mind knowing your hot tub is secure and well-supported.