When constructing a new deck, it is almost always necessary to attach a ledger board to the house. A ledger board will act as an anchor for the deck and is the point from which the rest of the deck will be built out away from. Unfortunately, ledger boards must be installed on a flat surface, which becomes a problem when working on one of the many houses these days that have stucco surrounding the exterior. Follow the steps below to learn how to remove stucco and properly mount a ledger board.
Step 1 – Mark the Area for the Ledger
Using a chalk-line, mark the area where the ledger board will go. Ideally, the topmost part of the ledger board should reach up to 1-inch below the bottom of the door the deck will be attached next to. Mounting the board at this height will ensure that any water that collects on the top of the ledger board will not be able to seep into the house through the bottom of the door.
Step 2 – Determine the Depth of the Stucco
To determine how deep the stucco on the side of the house is, drill a hole inside the area that is marked for the ledger board. Note how far the drill goes in before hitting the substrate. This is especially important if the stucco is installed over a foam board since the foam board will also need to be removed.
Step 3 – Cut the Stucco
Set a circular saw to the depth found by the exploratory drilling and cut along the lines that were marked with the chalk-line. Use a fine-tooth blade to keep from chipping the surrounding stucco. Once the area is cut, a cold chisel may be used to gently chip away the stucco that has not fallen away from the cut area.
Step 4 – Seal the Area
Tarpaper or waterproofing felt, as well as flashing, will need to be applied to the area to keep moisture from getting behind the ledger board once it has been attached. A concrete saw can be used to cut a groove at the top of where the ledger will reside. Fill this groove with caulk and insert a piece of flashing into the groove so that it will protect the exposed area.
Step 5 – Attach the Ledger Board
Hold the ledger board up to the area where it will be secured, bend the flashing over the top of it and pre-drill holes through the board and into the house. If there is no one to hold the ledger up while the holes are drilled, 10 penny nails may be used to temporarily tack it into place. Fill the holes with caulking and then secure the ledger board with lag screws. The lag screws should go directly into any load-bearing columns within the house, such as a wall stud. Remember to use hot dipped zinc lag screws that will resist corrosion from moisture and other weathering.