We’ve been counting down the days to the first signs of spring and look forward to that inaugural gathering outdoors with family and friends. While you may be eager to step outside, fire up the barbecue and take advantage of the longer, brighter days ahead, first things first. Decks are exposed to a smorgasbord of outdoor elements and need regular care and proper upkeep. From freezing rain and heavy snowfalls, to large gatherings and intense heat, your deck may be in need of a few minor or major repairs. This week, we’re sharing a few simple inspection tips to ensure your deck is ready for the glorious season ahead.
A bit of wear and tear can cause wood to split and crack. While tiny cracks don’t necessarily mean cause for concern, increasingly larger cracks should be examined, so keep an eye on any splits or cracks you notice in the wood. Water can seep into smaller cracks, freeze once temperatures dip, and cause the cracks to grow considerably larger. Cracks near connectors and fasteners can compromise a deck’s overall structural strength and result in a collapse.
Rusty (or missing) fasteners and connectors
Over time, the nails, screws, fasteners and connectors which hold your deck together may begin to rust and weaken, in turn deteriorating the surrounding area. A proper inspection will ensure all necessary connectors are holding strong.
Rotting wood, which can be caused from excessive amounts of rain, is a serious problem that should be rectified immediately. The deck’s structural integrity is immediately compromised once wood begins to rot and deteriorate. Keep an eye on those areas where rainwater gathers in puddles, as any dips in the deck will experience longer lags of moisture than other areas. This issue may be rectified by simply replacing a group of wooden planks, however rot surrounding the deck frame may mean a complete deck rebuild.
Railings are built for safety, and once they weaken, they lose their purpose. Avoid sitting or putting intense pressure on loose railings as this may lead to serious injuries. Ensure all railings are tightly secured and do not give easily. A rule of thumb is the average-sized person should be able to lean against a railing and feel a small amount of give. Any further give, such as swaying or shaking, will need to be fixed. While you may be aware of loose railings and use caution, a visitor may not, leading to an unfortunate accident which could have been avoided with a simple fix.
Unwelcome give and noises
Sometimes you may hear or feel there’s something wrong with your deck before you actually see it. If you walk onto your deck and feel more give than usual beneath your feet, or you hear a creaking sound you weren’t hearing before, the area should be examined immediately. Rot, cracks, rust, or a handful of other issues may be the culprit.
Whether your deck needs minor structural or cosmetic repairs, or is in need of a complete overhaul, contact a professional who will quickly find the problem and provide the best solution. Our team would be happy to assist you and make sure your deck is safely secure and ready for the warmer months ahead.