I am building an attached deck onto the back of the house. I just got done breaking up my concrete steps which led up to the back door of the house. After I broke the concrete stairs away, I found that some of the exterior wood of the house is exposed. Not even house wrap installed. This exterior part of the home was originally covered up by the concrete stairs so I never noticed.

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Luckily, I don't see any insect damage or wood rot but parts of the wood so look like they have signs of having water contact at some point.

I am going to install a ledger board on the back of the house for the deck so I am already planning on installing a self-adhesive flashing tape to the house wrap after I cut away siding. This adhesive flashing is meant to keep my floor joist of my house safe after I install the ledger joist.

But before I install the ledger and flashing tape, should I do anything special to this exterior wood? Should I treat it somehow? Fill in wood cracks? Install a section of house wrap?

Once I install the deck, I wont have access to this area anymore. I want to make sure it's taken care of before I build the deck.

  • That looks like vinyl siding, which is easy to pop off with a cheap tool. I imagine you could get some sheet rubber waterproofing and get it under the last layer, then over that area. Or just use more siding actually. If it is under the deck, who cares about the color. You get pieces cheap at the box stores I think or even online from local homeowners that have extra.
    – Evil Elf
    May 4, 2023 at 11:54

1 Answer 1


Since this is going to be under your deck, I would suggest cement board siding. Full process would be

  1. Nail (plastic cap nails) some waterproofing to the wood (Tyvek, tar paper, etc.)
  2. Mount the cement board. Try to get the top board under the vinyl siding.

That should provide you enough coverage to where the wood won't get wet and rot.

  • Tyvek or tar paper should install easy. I am not sure about the cement board because I will be installing the ledger board for my deck over this exposed wood that the pictures show. I don't think I'll be able to install a ledger board flush with the house over top of cement board. So, maybe nailing tar paper would be enough to go under the ledger board? May 5, 2023 at 13:40
  • The sole goal of the cement board is to limit how much water hits the untreated wood. It's thin, so it shouldn't hinder your ledger. The other option would be to make your deck be free-standing on this end. Just drive some fasteners in to prevent movement and set it on, say, cinder blocks or bricks
    – Machavity
    May 5, 2023 at 13:52

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