I live in Oregon, and we get plenty of rain here. To help my deck ledgers dry out, I place wide grooves in the bottom of the first deck board — the one next to the house — laid out so the grooves fall in the middle of each set of joists. The grooves are only 5/8 inch or so deep but are long enough to clear the 11/2-inch-thick ledger board. They help prevent water from getting trapped by giving it multiple spots to drain. I do the same thing at the open end of the deck to keep water from getting trapped between the last deck board and the fascia. I have used this detail as a sales tool, too, letting my customers know that it’s over and above what my competition does.

John Robinson owns Quality Residential Construction in Albany, Ore.

This Tip wins a DeWalt DCF885L2 20-volt impact-driver kit.