Posted by – Rick Oberlin, Building Inspector
With spring cleanup just around the corner, this is the time to start thinking about general maintenance on our homes. One of the most important areas seems to get over looked time and time again. Our exterior decks are an extension of our homes and living areas during warmer months. Take some time to inspect the structural integrity of your deck to keep your family and friends safe.
Most deck failures occur where the deck is attached to the house. Each year, either in the fall or spring, inspect your deck for things like wood damage, rot, loose nails and other types of damage. Address these issues before they become a bigger problem. Below is a checklist of areas to inspect.
- Inspect the wood for rot. Using a knife or other sharp object, lightly poke or dig into areas that look soft and spongy, repair or replace the wood ASAP.
- Check the wood for splinters or cupping (sinking).
- Look at the ends of the wood boards. Have they started to warp?
- Check several different sections of the deck to make sure wood is still sturdy and solid. These include ledger boards, support posts, joists under the deck, deck boards, railings and stairs.
- Most important is to make sure all of the deck fasteners are in good condition without rust or corrosion. Sometimes a fastener will need to be removed to check the condition. Many contractors have a spring inspection program to check these areas and the condition of the fastener and brackets.
After checking these very important areas you will be confident that your structure is ready for that all-important gathering you have planned. Have a great 2015 outdoor season on your safe, beautiful deck.