Few things around your house take more abuse than your deck. Exposed to the harshest sun, driving rains, ice, and snow, a deck can only take so much before it needs some repair. According to the North American Deck & Railing Association, there are more than 40 million decks in the United States that are at least 20 years old, and hundreds of reported deck accidents occur annually.
To avoid becoming a statistic, give your deck an annual inspection and make repairs so small problems don’t become expensive — or even dangerous — big problems.In the spring when weather warms up and you have a couple of dry days is a good time to give your deck a once-over. Look especially close at prime trouble spots: structural members that are close to the ground and any parts of the deck that are near downspouts.Check for Rot with an awl or screwdriver.
Probe around posts where they contact the ground or sit on concrete foundation blocks. Any wood that’s soft is suspect. Check where stair stringers come in contact with the ground or landing pad. Probe around railing posts and the decking surface.You can remove thumb-size areas of rot with a chisel, then treat the hole with a wood preservative to stop rot and keep it from spreading. Bigger areas of rot may require the wood member be replaced.
Hiring a professional deck inspector.
Here are some interesting facts about deck failure:
- More decks collapse in the summer than during the rest of the year combined.
- Almost every deck collapse occurred while the decks were occupied or under a heavy snow load.
- There is no correlation between deck failure and whether the deck was built with or without a building permit.
- There is no correlation between deck failure and whether the deck was built by a homeowner or a professional contractor.
- There is a slight correlation between deck failure and the age of the deck.
- About 90% of deck collapses occurred as a result of the separation of the house and the deck ledger board, allowing the deck to swing away from the house. It is very rare for deck floor joists to break mid-span.
- Many more injuries are the result of rail failure, rather than complete deck collapse.
- Deck stairs are notorious for lacking graspable handrails.
- Many do-it-yourself homeowners, and even contractors, don't believe that rail infill spacing codes apply to decks.
In Minneapolis Saint Paul, Inspections Plus has the experience necessary to properly perform deck inspections. Call Inspections Plus today.
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