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Waterproofing: Life Deck AL System

AL Waterproofing System for Plywood Decks ICC ESR-2701

Life Deck AL System Description

Life Deck AL (Acrylic Lath) is a metal lath reinforced deck system installed with a series of three separate cementitious applications. It is bonded together with a specially formulated acrylic emulsion sealed with Life Deck 10 Series or Heat Reflective 28 Series 100% acrylic top coat.

Life Deck AL System Uses

The AL system works only on plywood walking decks and is NOT recommended over OSB. It is recommended for the discriminating contractor or building owner who demands the finest in design, strength and durability.

The AL deck is ideal for areas with heavy traffic or in cases where elimination of plywood seams is essential. Life Deck AL has been designed for balconies, corridors, stairs and landings.

It is regularly specified for hotels, condominiums, apartments and office buildings. It can be stapled through most old deck systems to provide an excellent method for the rehabilitation of problem surfaces.

Life Deck AL System Advantages

  • Unmatched strength and durability
  • Fast access after installation
  • “Five + Five” manufacturers warranty
  • Excellent sound reduction qualities
  • Tough final coat is U.V. resistant
  • Class A ASTME-108 Fire Retardant
  • Safe anti-skid textured finish

How to Apply Life Deck AL System:

Step 1: Life Deck AL System Metal Lath

  1. Place the AL lath (only hot dipped galvanized) on the plywood and cut the lath to fit the area making sure the edge of the lath does not parallel any wood seams.
  2. Lath should run across the grain of the plywood. The lath has a grain and it should be placed so that it curves down at the edge of the deck.
  3. The lath should be held back 1/2” from all edges (staple through flashing when necessary). This will allow material to be feathered with a brush.
  4. With the lath in place, staple the lath using 16 staples per square foot (minimum 1” crown x 5/8” long, non corrosive equal to Senco brand).
  5. Overlap the lath between 1” to 2”. With a hammer, pound down any seams or staples that are higher than the lath.

Step 2: Life Deck AL System Base Coat

  1. Combine one bag of LD-1 cement with 1-1/4 gallon of LD-81 acrylic and add up to one quart of water.
  2. Mix until uniform with a low rpm 1/2” drill motor.
  3. Pour the mixture onto the lath and trowel smooth at the rate of 40 square feet per batch. Use a paint brush to spread the base coat on the flashing making sure to get the mixture into the seams and corners.
  4. Using a brush, wet with water, feather all outside edges. Scrape off any high spots or ridges that may inhibit application of a smooth slurry coat.

Step 3: Life Deck AL System Crickets/Sloping

  1. Sloping should always be done in the framing. It is the responsibility of the building owner and not the deck coating applicator. If sloping is requested it should be noted on the work order. The applicator along with manufacturer should not be held responsible for the outcome of these remedial measures to help correct these pre-existing slope conditions.

Crickets (reverse slope to divert water to drain) may be installed and sloping may be done using additional base coat (LD-81 and LD-Cement). Maximum thickness should be 1/2” and should be applied 1/4” at a time.

Note: Should deck coating not be completed in one phase or to allow for other construction trades, deck should be covered to avoid being damaged and to keep clean. It may be necessary to power wash the deck to dislodge any construction debris or any other foreign matter.

Step 4: Life Deck AL System Slurry Coat

  1. Combine one bag of LD-1 cement with 1-1/4 gallon of LD-81 acrylic and add up to one quart of water. Mix until uniform with a low rpm 1/2” drill motor.
  2. Pour the mixture onto the surface and trowel smooth at the rate of 100-150 square feet per batch. Use a paint brush to spread the base coat on the flashing making sure to get the mixture into the seams and corners.
  3. Using a brush, wet with water, feather all outside edges. Scrape off any high spots or ridges that may inhibit application of a smooth slurry coat.

Life Deck AL System Inspection

Plywood decks must be at least 5/8” CDX exterior grade. The deck should be tongue and groove and properly blocked and nailed (glued & screwed is best) and meet local building codes. Plywood shall have a maximum span of 16”. Slope must be a minimum of 1/4” per linear foot. Please refer to Notice to Customer for Deck Coatings.

Life Deck AL System Flashing

Flash at wall-to-deck with 4” x 4” facia with 2”x4” minimum 26 gauge bonderized sheet- metal overlapped at least 4” and caulked in front and back with a Life Deck approved sealant such as RainbusterTM 900 or equivalent. If the flashing is not bonderized it must be etched so that coating will bond . Nail all flashing every 4”.

Life Deck AL System Deck Preparation

Be sure the surface is clean, dry and free of grease, paint, oil, dust or curing agents.

Option: Plywood Joints and Seams Cracks or seams should be cleaned out, dry and free of debris. Life Deck Seam Tape (self adhering) should be laid out over all cracks, seams, plywood joints and at flashing.

Life Deck AL System Texture Coat

  1.  Combine one bag of Life Deck LD-3 cement with one gallon of LD-81 acrylic and mix thoroughly with a low rpm drill motor.
  2. Add up to one quart of water to achieve the desired consistency.
  3. Using an acoustical hopper gun, spray the texture onto the deck with a circular motion to achieve approximately 70% coverage at a rate of about 150 square feet per batch. After a few moments, depending on the temperature, the texture must be “knocked down” using a 20” x 5” rounded pool trowel for best results.
  4. To avoid making impressions, the applicator should wear spiked shoes. Wipe trowel clean with a wet rag as needed. Spray continuously, do not stop in the middle of the deck.

Life Deck AL System Top Coat

  1. Mix containers of the same color and same product together to insure a consistent color. Product may be thinned by adding 1 pint of water per gallon to avoid streaks, especially in hot weather.
  2. Roll two coats of Life Deck Top Coat using a 3/4” roller at a rate of 200-250 square feet per gallon per coat, allowing appropriate cure time between coats (2 hours @ 800F, 4 hours @ 700F.
  3. Shaded areas require longer cure times between coats or use). Spread the Top Coat in two directions to achieve a uniform finish.
  4. Coverage will vary according to texture. Allow 4 to 6 hours drying time (at 70 degrees) before permitting light pedestrian traffic. For best results, allow to cure 24 hours before direct traffic is permitted. Allow an additional 24 hours before heavy objects are placed on the surface.

Life Deck AL System Optional Patterns

After the slurry coat is dry, you may lay out a pattern using 1/2” or 3/4” Life Deck pattern tape. Spray texture over tape and remove within 24 hours. This will leave an impression in the surface. The pattern can be used to enhance the look and create a tile or flagstone effect.

Temperature/Weather: Do not install Texture Crete if the temperature is below 55 degrees. Rain will wash away Life Deck acrylic products. If inclement weather threatens, cover deck to protect new application. Do not allow any Life Deck product to freeze.

Maintenance: Most stains clean up with TSP and water. Use only a bristle scrub brush. The Life Deck AL System textured deck should have annual inspections and be resealed with Life Deck 10 series top coat every 2 to 3 years depending upon ultraviolet exposure from the sun or sooner if recommend by your applicator.

Repairs: Repairs may be done by grinding off the damaged area and replacing the material as written in this spec. Plywood must be replaced if necessary and lath must be restapled to integrate into the remaining surface.

Life Deck AL System Warranty

Life Deck AL has a five + five year limited warranty. After 5 years, a Life Paint Representative  must be contacted to inspect and recommend maintenance to the project before an additional 5 years are given.

It is valid only if the complete AL system is installed by a factory trained, licensed contractor and maintenance specifications are followed along with annual inspections. Life Paint will replace any defective AL product proven to be the cause of deck failure.

Warranty shall not exceed the replacement cost of the defective material and does not include labor. All claims regarding product defects must be presented to Life Paint within 90 days of the alleged defect. The absence of a written claim during this period will constitute a waiver of all claims against the manufacturer. Warranty is void if subsurface or adjoining area are not built to meet local building codes.

1-Hour Fired Rated


Commercial Walkways/Ramps


Multi-Family Housing Units


Commercial Decks




4 Steps

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