In the bottom of the deck board that’s next to the house, and again in the board adjacent to the fascia, the author cuts grooves that will land above each set of joists so that water can drain away.
In the bottom of the deck board that’s next to the house, and again in the board adjacent to the fascia, the author cuts grooves that will land above each set of joists so that water can drain away.

I live in Oregon, and we get plenty of rain here. To help my deck ledgers dry out, I place wide grooves in the bottom of the first deck board — the one next to the house — laid out so the grooves fall in the middle of each set of joists. The grooves are only 5/8 inch or so deep but are long enough to clear the 11/2-inch-thick ledger board. They help prevent water from getting trapped by giving it multiple spots to drain. I do the same thing at the open end of the deck to keep water from getting trapped between the last deck board and the fascia. I have used this detail as a sales tool, too, letting my customers know that it’s over and above what my competition does.

John Robinson owns Quality Residential Construction in Albany, Ore.

This Tip wins a DeWalt DCF885L2 20-volt impact-driver kit.