You can’t expect your deck to last or keep you safe unless it’s properly built and maintained. Experts agree that a wood deck has an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years and that millions of decks in the United States are potentially unsafe.
You should evaluate the construction of a deck to ensure that it is safe and solid, whether you are building one or already have one. The key to a sturdy, safe deck is regular maintenance and the use of quality materials. To ensure that all of your connections are strong, it is a good idea to do annual deck maintenance.
5 Signs That Your Deck is Unsafe
Look for these signs to know if your deck needs to be repaired, rebuilt, or upgraded.
1. Connections Are Missing
When building a deck, make sure the deck builders use wood, nails, screws, and metal connectors all at the same time. If you see nails but no screws or connectors, your deck may be unsafe.
2. Connections Are Loose
Depending on how the deck was built, the connections may have loosened over time due to loading, temperature changes, and other factors. These could lead to a shaky deck, sagging stairs, and railings that appear to be pulling away from the house.
3. Corroded Metal Fasteners
Over time, corrosion can occur with metal fasteners such as connectors, nails, and screws. Examine your deck for rust and other signs of corrosion that could jeopardize its primary strength.
If your deck is made of wood, it can easily deteriorate over time with exposure to the elements. Rotted wood in the deck frame can make the entire structure unstable.
Cracks are a common feature of aging wood. Your deck may become unsafe to use if it has numerous large cracks.
How Can You Ensure Your Deck’s Safety?
Keep an eye on your deck’s condition
Even though many decks in modern homes are made of PVC or vinyl, which is often more durable and less susceptible to the elements and pests than other materials, most decks in older homes are typically made of wood. Wood decks are usually constructed from redwood or cedar. Because of its resistance to the elements, pressure-treated pine is another popular choice.
Regardless of your deck’s material, however, it’s going to wear after some time. This is especially true for a deck made of wood that hasn’t been cared for properly. If you notice that your boards appear to be cracking or rotting, your deck could be decaying and in need of urgent deck repair.
Do a regular deck framing inspection & deck post check
You’ll also need to keep an eye on the framing and deck posts. It’s possible that your deck’s frames and posts are deteriorating due to decay or pest infestation, which can be very dangerous. Call deck builders near you for assistance if you notice any loosening in your posts, joists, or ledger boards. Additionally, you should immediately repair or replace any broken or missing components, such as loose or missing boards or broken fasteners. When you do this, instead of nailing wood to wood, use the strongest and most long-lasting materials, like pressure-treated lumber or bolts.
Regularly conduct footing inspection
Some issues with deck construction can result in injuries that are life-threatening. For instance, you should check to see that footing is secure and in good condition. A deck footing is one of the most important parts of your deck structure. If you see the concrete crumbling, you should immediately contact a deck builder to find out if it’s secure or if it needs to be repaired.
Repaint and Reseal
To keep your deck safe, give it a thorough wash and then apply a waterproof seal or repaint it if the coat has worn away. Paint and seal can help keep the wear and tear and pest infestations at bay if done regularly.
Conduct Regular Professional Deck Inspections
Before using your home’s existing deck, you should have it inspected by a local deck builder. Additionally, you should carry out an inspection of your deck at least once per year. If your deck is older than ten years, an annual inspection is your best option for an additional layer of safety. However, inspection intervals should never exceed three years, even with newly built decks.
If you find that your deck is unsafe, you must rebuild or repair it. However, a professional deck builder may be required. Make sure the deck construction company you hire has a good reputation and is licensed, like Cape May County Deck Builders.
As your dependable deck builder, we guarantee your safety and a lifetime of enjoyable outdoor experiences for your entire family. Let’s get started on that outdoor paradise right away! Call us at 609-739-7296.