The deck is a great addition to your home. It extends the living space of the house and gives you extra space to entertain your family and friends. It is durable and built to last for a long period of time. But like any other part of your home, your deck also needs routine inspection. A deck that is not regularly maintained can collapse and put you and your family’s safety at risk.
As a smart and responsible homeowner, make sure to perform routine inspections on your deck and look out for these 5 major things.
Rails are installed on many decks for safety measures. However, if the railings are not installed properly it can be really dangerous. Initially, your state will have requirements that you need to follow when planning to install deck railings. It should be solid enough and feel secure. Make sure to include your baluster and railings in your routine inspection.
If your railing is made of wood, look for any signs of rotting or splitting. Grasp them and try to wiggle your railings. If they feel loose then they aren’t safe. Check for loose connections and fasteners, then tighten them to avoid any accidents.
If your deck is elevated, then there should be posts that support it and keep it steady from below. The deck is connected to its posts with bolts. These bolts can get loose, making the deck unsteady, so make sure to include them in your inspection. And while you are at it, pay attention to the supporting posts too, especially their ends since this is where rot and splits usually begin. Address any loose bolts and early signs of rotting to prevent it from getting damaged further.
Your deck is constantly exposed to the heat of the sun, rain and even snow during winter. Despite being durable and robust, the changing temperature and season can reduce the lifespan of your deck. Moisture is the number enemy of any wood material, so if your decking is made of wood, then make it a point to inspect your deck boards regularly. Check out the spaces between boards too as these are where moisture accumulates. Gently tap the area and see if the material feels soft and is decaying. Call a professional deck repair service immediately to fix it.
- Surface finish
With the foot traffic your deck is subject to, the time will come for its color to get dull and faded. However, if the deck feels slippery when walking on it, then it is high time that it needs washing and cleaning. Mold and mildew growth causes your deck to become slippery. Any discoloration on the board is a sign that you need to have it cleaned and reseal. Deck should be washed at least twice a year and re-stain or reseal it every 2-3 years to maintain its good condition.
- Nail pop
Nail pop is another common issue that you should not forget when inspecting your home decking. As your deck gets older, the nails on the board get loose and may pop up. It can injure your feet when walking barefoot on your deck. For safety purposes, always check your deck for popped nails and use a hammer to nail them down tightly and securely.