Signs That it is Time For Deck Repair
By Don Kennedy
Decks, just like our roof, siding and windows bear the brunt of the extreme ice, snow and cold temperatures during the winter and driving rain during the spring. Deck repair and maintenance is critical to ensure the longevity and safety of your deck. This article will help you determine if your deck is fit for service this season or is in need of repair and routine maintenance.
With the following tips, homeowners can quickly spot and diagnose some common problems associated with their deck’s exposure to the harsh winter weather. Taking action to resolve these issues quickly will help prevent premature failure and costly replacement of your deck and increase its function and longevity. Whether you decide to hire a professional to maintain or repair the deck, or do the work yourself, here are some common problems you should be looking for this spring.
Deck Repair and Maintenance Inspection Tips
Referencing the North American Deck & Railing Association’s Consumer Checklist, here are four problem areas I believe every homeowner can easily spot on their home’s deck.
- Decayed or Rotted Wood: Pay particular attention to areas that appear to remain wet. You want to find any wood that is rotted or decayed. If such an area has splintered, attempt to pull a piece off. Or, use a screwdriver to poke and pick at the wood. If it feels soft or spongy, that is a tell-tale sign that the wood must be replaced, indicating it is time to call a deck repair professional.
- Deck Fasteners: Fasteners include nails, screws and anchors. If you see a lot of nails sticking out, or screws that have corroded, this could be a sign of a bigger problem. Corroded, loose, or missing fasteners can continue to damage the wood around them and undermine the structural integrity of the deck, railings and stairs. If you spot such damage, consider calling a deck repair professional to further evaluate the problem.
- Railings, Banisters and Stairs: Push on the railing and banisters to make sure they are secure. Examine the deck surface and stair treads to make sure there is no sagging or cracked boards. Stand on the deck surface and deck stairs and shift your weight back and forth to see if there is any sway or excessive bounce. If you note any of these problems, this could be a sign that a deck repair is necessary.
- Cleaning and Maintenance: Mold, moss and discoloration all can damage the deck wood quickly if not quickly removed and properly sealed. Deck cleaning and maintenance is an entire topic in and of itself-so if you’re not comfortable cleaning and sealing your own deck, it is time to call a deck repair professional.
For More Information on Deck Repair
For more information on how to spot deck problems, or general questions on deck construction, deck maintenance, and deck inspection, the North American Deck and Railing Association (www.nadra.org) has a fantastic website with a wealth of information for homeowners.
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