Dem Birdbath Blues
The severe commercial deck slope of 3 inches in 10 feet effectively sheds standing water, but the angle rarely compliments the gentle lines of a residential swimming pool. Homeowners like their decks broad and flat so that chairs sit level with tables and the kids don't all roll to one corner.
When you flatten a deck, you chance 'bird baths', small puddles that ushers mud into the home and breeds slippery algae and mildew. You're not talking about a lot of water; a glassful, really. It's just the fact that it's there and won't flow away.
Stains form in the small indents overlooked during construction. It's a nagging maintenance chore requiring weekly brooming with liquid chlorine. If you're renovating your deck, you can feather an acrylic deck mixture onto the spots, moving the water to an expansion joint or planter area. The danger here is building the area too high, moving the puddle, rather than erasing it.
Small birdbaths can be eradicated by simply drilling a hole completely through the deck. A small hole will do; a 1/8" masonry bit is sufficient. Angle the bit toward seating or traffic areas and the hole will be practically invisible. The smallness of the hole prevents the threat of deck wash- out and the little bit of water involved will be absorbed harmlessly into the ground.
Bird baths are only one of the hundreds of pool problems explained on our
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