Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Deck Repair, Part One

I've mentioned the problem we have with our terrasse or deck, I'm sure. But here's a recap: when we moved into the house in 2003, the deck was a mess. The concrete deck surface had been coated with a messy black tar in an attempt to seal it. On top of the tar was a layer of green astro-turf carpet-y stuff.

The deck before we cleared it (2003).

That, in turn, was covered with several sheets of plywood, several rotting tarps, and some bricks to weigh it all down. This whole mess was soggy and moldy, and the plywood was coming un-plied. And the deck still leaked when it got wet. We found this out after we dumped all the crap and washed the deck surface down. It leaked right into the garage below.

Some of the deck debris (2003).

Within two months of moving in, we had the deck re-waterproofed and tiled and thought that the problem was fixed only to find out, the next time it rained, that water collected in a puddle in front of the door that opens onto the living room. We tried to get the guy who did the tiling to come back and fix it, but the job was done "under the table," we paid him cash, and he had no intention of coming back.

Some of the astro-turf in a pile (2003).

We've lived with the puddle problem now for nearly six years. And since we had higher priorities for capital investments, we just resigned ourselves to sweeping the water puddle off the deck every time it rained.

The black tar stuff and the late Miss Collette (2003).

A few weeks ago we were having drinks with friends who routinely work with contractors and they mentioned to us that they know a great tile guy. So they hooked us up with him and we showed him le lac Terrasse. He gave us an estimate for breaking up the problem area and re-tiling it and we said ok.

Newly tiled deck (2003).

The building store where we got the first batch of tile in 2003 still carries the same stuff, so thankfully we don't have to have the whole deck re-done. The match between the six year old batch and the new stuff is pretty good, at least good enough for us.

Demolition under way (2009).

So the work started on Monday.


  1. Happy birthday to Judy of "Seine Judeet". Your deck will be lovely.
    Good, honest contractors are so hard to find.

  2. I am surprised to see that the fellow chipping at the tiles is not wearing working boots ( or at least closed toe shoes). He must be the boss

  3. Looks like they're making lots of mess ! Still, it will be worth it. Health and Safety doesn't seem to count in France like it does in the UK. Last year, we watched someone digging up a footpath wearing shorts and flip-flops, no sign of safety footwear, ear defenders, safety glasses, etc. Pedestrians just pushed past him, too, those that were prepared to brave the clouds of dust.

  4. Can't you just imagine the nice times you'll be spending out there...complete with good French wine and yummy food!

  5. nadege, we're keeping our fingers crossed.

    beaver, he is the boss.

    jean, interesting, eh? All the fingers on his left hand have been cut off after the first knuckle. I bet there's a story in there somewhere.

    alewis, oh, yes.


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