At this point we are all longing for Spring and the enjoyment of our outdoor deck space. Before you know it, we’ll be ready to move our outdoor furniture, planters, grills, hammocks and more to our beloved deck space.
While we have been mostly indoors, our decks have been fully exposed to everything mother nature can throw at them. Sunshine, moisture, freezing and thawing, wet leaves and high winds all take their toll.
Even with high quality construction and materials, decks require inspection and maintenance.
Here are some Spring inspection tips to ensure safety and enjoyment of your home deck space.
Start with the decking and stair treads. Look for any signs of rot. Make sure all decking is securely fastened and look for any raised screws or nails that need to be addressed. Heavy fading, deep cracks or green build up are sure signs your wooden decking needs to be washed and re-coated to prevent rot and maintain an attractive appearance.
Next, the railings around the deck and stairways are critical for the safety of your family and guests. Rails should be solid with no movement under pressure and all materials used to restrict the opening below the top rail should be sound and solid with particular care to protect children that may be present.
Now, it’s time to look under the deck. Vertical posts should be inspected. Use an awl or screwdriver to detect any soft spots and rot. Where the posts rest on the footer and where the horizontal beams attach is particularly vulnerable.
Check the beams and joists underneath at the ends where moisture strikes first. Also, pay close attention to the ledger board where the deck attaches to the house. Make sure there is no rot, no signs of pulling away from the home or loose lag bolts.
Last, check the fascia board that wraps around the perimeter just under the decking. Although this is not structural, the fascia board can trap moisture, so look for discoloration or any rot that may be evident.
Don’t hesitate to have us take look. We can advise you about low maintenance materials like long lasting composite decking and railing products.
Often when concerns are caught early a few simple repairs can preserve your deck and give you peace of mind.