Do You Need To Remove Grass Before Decking?

So, you’ve decided to add a deck to the side of your house or garden? That’s great, as the addition of decking can improve the overall appearance of your property while also giving it a boost in value. However, before starting construction, there are several things that you should take into consideration. One of these is whether you need to remove grass before decking.

Grass should be removed before you start building your decking. It can grow through the decking and attract moisture, amongst other things.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through all the reasons why you should remove grass before decking, and how to do it properly.

Why Grass Is Bad for Your Decking

There are numerous reasons why grass is not good for your decking. For starters, grass can emit a significant amount of moisture. Excess moisture like this does not go well with wood decking, as it can cause the decking to deteriorate over time.

In addition, grass tends to attract various types of insects. Unfortunately, these insects can also cause damage to your wood decking.

Certain ones may burrow into the decking, leaving unsightly holes and compromising the overall structural integrity of the deck. After some time, the deck may end up collapsing from insect infestation.

Further, grass growing up through the boards of your deck is just unattractive. The good news is that you don’t have to deal with these problems. It is entirely possible to remove the grass under your deck.

Tips to Keep Weeds From Growing Through Your Decking

When it comes to preventing weeds from growing beneath and through your decking, there are a few things you can do.

Remove the Grass

If the deck has yet to be built, the easiest solution is to remove the grass where you will be placing the deck. In doing so, weeds are less likely to grow and spread in the area. Further, there is a reduced chance of weeds popping up through the decking.

Removing the grass and weeds can be beneficial, but it is not necessarily a long-term solution. For starters, some weeds may come back. Therefore, if you want to manually remove the grass from the area of the decking, you may want to consider using a product to kill the grass.

A weed killer can also be used later if you have already constructed the deck and weeds are coming through.

Use Landscaping Fabric

After the grass has been removed, you should lay down a layer of quality landscaping fabric.

This fabric is designed to keep the weeds under control. Make sure that the fabric covers every square inch of the ground where you are constructing the deck. If there is any gap left, it is essentially an invitation for the growth of weeds, which is exactly what you are trying to prevent from occurring.

Add Mulch or Gravel

For even more protection, you can add a layer of mulch or gravel on top of the landscaping fabric.

Apply a thick layer of mulch or gravel on top of the fabric. This will keep sunlight from getting through while suppressing the weeds so growth isn’t even an option.

Watch the Ground

While you can take the aforementioned measures to hopefully keep grass and weeds from growing beneath your decking, it is always a good idea to keep a close eye on everything. There is always a small chance that the grass/weeds will grow back, especially once springtime arrives.

For example, if you use landscaping fabric or mulch, keep an eye out for a shift in the soil and ground causing the fabric or mulch to move. If you notice that anything is amiss or that grass is growing below the decking again, repeat the steps above.

How to Construct a Deck on Top of Grass

If you don’t want to remove grass before decking, then there are some precautionary measures you need to take. Ultimately, you can build the deck as normal using your material of choice and hope for the best.

Alternatively, you can build the deck a couple of feet off the ground, which will provide you with plenty of access space in the event you need to get under there and deal with the grass. Of course, with a deck this high off the ground, sunlight is likely to reach the grass below.

You can also build a deck low to the ground so that most of the sunlight is blocked from getting to the grass. This will increase the chances of the grass dying off naturally.

While the lack of sunlight and moisture will help keep the grass from growing with a deck on top of it, it is not a surefire solution. In fact, enough light may be able to get through the decking cracks to keep the grass alive. 

Therefore, your best bet is to follow the tips above to remove the grass before building a deck.

So, Do You Need to Remove Grass Before Decking?

Ultimately, this is a personal preference. However, if you want to minimize the grass-related problems you have in the future with your deck, then it is recommended to remove the grass from the area where you plan to construct a deck.

It will be easier to deal with the grass beforehand than to have to try to get rid of it after the deck has been built. Depending on the severity of the problem, the deck may need to be removed to eliminate the grass and then rebuilt. 

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