Summer Deck Check-Up
Check up on your deck every summer to make sure it is safe for your family and friends!
It is not necessary to hire an expert to check up on your deck. Most issues and safety risks are easily noticed and can be addressed by you. If you are unsure of an issue or your repairs don't seem to hold up, then it may be time to find a contractor. Check on these parts of the deck when you plan to put it to use!
The drastic changes in Wisconsin weather throughout the year can take a toll on wooden decks. As wooden boards dry out, they will begin to split at the ends, causing them to stick up or pull away from the deck. When this happens, the boards cause trip and injury hazards. It is important that you guests have proper footwear on when they are on your deck, but you should also be sure to replace boards when they become a hazard.
Nails & Screws
If you were not the homeowner when your deck was installed, familiarize yourself with how the deck was built. Decks that solely use nails and no screws can become loose and hazardous more quickly. Screws provide more stability and should be used for repairs when possible.
Changing temperatures allows for the screws and nails in hand railings to loosen as temps warm up. Regularly check hand rails to ensure they are secure. Tightening screws or adding nails will only reinforce hand rails a handful of times. If the railings begin to bend or do not become secure when tightened, it may be time to replace them!
Like handrails, loosened or warped stairs can cause a serious hazard. Stairs can become more weathered or lose strength faster that the rest of the deck because they are used frequently. Check stairs frequently and replace if they create the risk of tripping or injury.
The posts that support a deck are sometimes the hardest part of a deck to check up on. Not only because they are less visible than the rest of the deck but also because insects can be their biggest problem. Termites and ants can damage the wood that may be hard to see. If you suspect an infestation, it might be worth getting a professional opinion. Additionally, posts have a greater risk of rotting that the rest of the deck. Check for rotting by pushing a screwdriver into cracks to see if the center of the post feels soft or spongy. Rotten deck posts might need to be individually replaced, but if multiple posts are rotten, it may be time for a new deck.