The deck of your home creates a sense of continuity between the indoors and the outdoors. But if you want to keep it in good condition, you should know about the signs that indicate the need for repairs or replacements. You might have put in a great effort to get a deck which is waterproofed and built by the best engineers. But it is still in the outdoors, exposed to the snow, sleet, rain and other weather changes in the weather. By having a close look at the deck you will be able to find out if it needs any immediate repair or maintenance.
1. Know about the Material of the Deck
If you have a fair idea about the material of the deck, your assessment will be much more accurate.
For instance, if you have a wooden deck, it will not show the same signs of wear & tear as that of a composite deck.
When inspecting a wooden deck, look out for damage due to insects, warps on the surface. For composite decks, one thing you should look out for is faded color. If you know the properties of the material, you will be able to make a better plan for replacement and repair.
2. Examine the Posts
Go down and have a closer look at the posts that are holding up the deck.
Dig out some dirt and if you find the post rotting or damaged, you need to plan a replacement immediately. If such problems are discovered early, it may be possible to replace just a post or two, without having to remove the complete deck.
In case you notice rotting in all posts, let us tell you that it is about time you plan to get a brand new deck built by a professional. The support structure needs to be safe and secure at all times.
3. Survey the Joists Closely
The joists are as important as the posts that hold up the deck. If the joints appear to be showing signs of rotting, have them inspected immediately. A simple test to check out if deck joints are in shape or not, is to drive a screwdriver through them; if there is no resistance, you should be worried. Sadly, the deck has to be dismantled to replace the joints.
4. Lean on the Railing to Check
Before you actually lean really back, ensure that the railing has not suffered any damage from water. It is on the railings that most people lean in social gatherings and hence they bear maximum load on most occasions. At the first sign of an unsteady railing, you should plan for deck repairs or railing replacement immediately.
5. The Age of the Deck
After every five years, you should get your deck inspected by a professional. You may not be able to see the signs of decay and repair that he can. Just like people decks ages too and need to be given a boost of life with repair and maintenance.
Bryan Miller shares some useful information on warning signs your deck needs repair or replacement in this short, 6 minute video.