I recently bought a home with a composite deck staircase and landing. Today I noticed that the landing pools water and the spacing between the boards seems to be extremely tight. Is there a reasonable way to fix this?

The most tangible problem is that our welcome mat just never dries (it’s on a north facing side of the house to add insult to injury).


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  • Some pictures will help. Pooling water is usually due to a lack of slope, usually don't need much, 1/8 of a inch.
    – crip659
    Apr 2, 2023 at 23:34
  • Were the deck planks screwed directly into the joists through the planks or were the recommended clips used to ensure proper spaing?
    – JACK
    Apr 2, 2023 at 23:48
  • 1
    undo/redo is the only way to fix that, unless you want to drill holes
    – Traveler
    Apr 3, 2023 at 0:16
  • @Ruskes if not going the undo/redo route (seems a lot of work), I would consider using an oscillating tool and running the blade between the boards in the problem section to create a gap for drainage. Of course, I'd also expect these gaps to require regular debris removal.
    – Huesmann
    Apr 3, 2023 at 13:32
  • 1
    @Ruskes not what I wanted to hear, but kind of what I was expecting.
    – jak119
    Apr 3, 2023 at 16:26

1 Answer 1


Decks aren't normally built with slope. They tend to be self-draining due to the board gap, so slope just isn't necessary. You especially don't want slope with decking that isn't substantially textured.

Then, gap is a matter of prerogative. It is often selected based on a number of factors such as local tree debris size and type, appearance preference, and insect mitigation needs.

So that leaves two things in dealing with your problem... gap (or lack thereof) and water retention due to the mat and other objects. Here are some thoughts on all that.

  • Gap won't entirely eliminate your beading problem. (I don't think of that as "pooling" because it's on a small scale.) However, it could help to a small extent and could help the mat dry out.

  • Gaps can be added by either cutting slots or holes, or by resetting the decking. Which is suitable is up to you. If you'd like help with that I suggest posting another detailed question.

  • Consider a different type of mat, or relocate to somewhere that gets light and more airflow. At the stairs or other access points might be better that at the entry door.

  • In OP case a slope would have helped. It is a 1/8 inch slope thus not creating a dangerous slippery surface. A slope is must have if no gaps or insufficient gaps which is the case here. Relocating the mat is a joke.
    – Traveler
    Apr 3, 2023 at 20:18
  • 1
    That was rather rude. Also wrong. Slope would not help dry out under the mat. Have a look at the science behind surface tension. I addressed that with my mention of "beading". You don't know as much as you think you do.
    – isherwood
    Apr 3, 2023 at 20:37

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