Is Your Deck Safe?

Relaxing outside with family and friends is an excellent way to enjoy the summer, but if your deck has seen better days, it might be time to see if it needs repair. Decks are exposed to the weather, and damage can lead to rot, splinters, or collapse. Wolf Spirit Deck has some tips to help you make sure your deck is safe and ready for summer fun.

How Long Do Decks Last?

How long decks last depends on many factors. The climate, building techniques, and materials affect how long your deck will last. According to the North American Deck and Railing Association, about thirty people die every year from deck collapses, so it is a good idea to make sure yours is safe.

The best way to make sure your deck is safe is to inspect it at least once a year. If problems are found, you can get them repaired before they become hazardous. When inspecting your deck, you need to look at a few key areas.

Ledger Boards

The ledger board is where the deck is attached to your home. Over time, the screws that hold it in place can pull out. The ledger board can be exposed to moisture, making it rot or become soft. This causes the bolts or screws to pull out. Decks that are more than three feet high are especially prone to this type of damage. Another thing to look for is a ledger board that is severely cracked.

Anchors, Fasteners, and Hangers

Another thing to inspect is the anchors, fasteners, and hangars. Many times, these are made of metal and can rust. If they have become corroded or loose, they should be replaced. You should also check the nails or screws that hold them in place. If the wood they are fastened to is rotten, then they could pull out.

Framing Lumber

Before the mid-1970s, framing boards were often untreated, which tends to rot much more quickly than treated lumber. Also, some will use untreated lumber to save money. The problem is that untreated lumber can become infected with a fungus that makes it soft. Some types of wood are more prone to this, even if they have been treated.

Deck Boards and Steps

One of the benefits of synthetic decking is that it does not rot. This is one good reason to consider this option over natural wood. Also, it tends to resist fading, mildew growth, and splintering. If you feel a section of the decking or steps has too much give when you walk on it, then it might be a good idea to replace it.

Footings and Post Bracing

The footings and post bracing must be constructed to strict engineering standards. Without proper bracing, decks will sway when you walk on them. If your deck moves as a single unit when you walk on it, then you need to have your footings and post bracing inspected.

Railings and Balusters

It is important to make sure your porch railing and balusters are sturdy. This is a big concern because people will often lean on them. If they give way, it can cause a serious fall. These elements are exposed to the weather and loosen over time.

Is It Time for an Inspection?

The best way to make sure your deck is safe is to call a professional for an inspection. Wolf Spirit Deck is a team that knows what to look for to keep your deck safe. They serve Chicagoland and surrounding areas with services that include design, installation, repair, and maintenance. Call us, and one of our team will help you make sure your deck is safe.