A healthy wood or composite deck is a happy one. It doesn’t matter how well your deck is built, or what it’s made from, it is still outside and unprotected from all the elements. Catching any issues early on may prevent the need for a complete deck replacement.
What To Look For When Self Inspecting
A routine inspection is necessary in order to maintain the lifespan of your deck. At the very least, you need to use a screwdriver or awl and take a look at how it’s faring, once per year.
- The posts: These are what hold up your structure. Look for any water damage or wood rot. One or two could easily be replaced. But, if you see issues with all of the posts then it may be time to think about getting a new deck.
- The joists: Joists make sure your build is stable. Because they are difficult to replace, damage to the joists means you may need a new deck.
- The railing: Before entertaining on your deck, it’s good practice to ensure the security of the rails. If they are unsteady or rotting, it’s a potential hazard.
- The ledger board: This is what secures the deck to your house. If it’s pulling away in any areas, then it can collapse.
- The age: Decks over 5 years old should be inspected professionally.
If your deck is sagging, there could be a structural issue. A damaged substructure or beams can be the culprit. If either of those are the cause, then consider having a new one installed.
Wood decks are exposed to the elements all year round. When the wood starts splintering, warping, or cracking, and no amount of sealer makes it look any better, that’s a sign your deck needs to be replaced.
Rotting wood is damp, soft, and structurally unsound. When one or two pieces have rot, that means the rest of the adjoining boards will closely follow in its footsteps. Replacing those rotten pieces may save the deck, but it is a warning sign that a new deck may be the safest route.
An occasional nail pop is natural. But, if you’re noticing that several nails aren’t staying in place, even after a session with a hammer, this could mean the boards need to be replaced.
These pesky insects burrow into the wood and cause it to hollow out, which makes your wood planks more prone to rotting. If you don’t get rid of the termites, the problem they cause will worsen.
Wood or composite, decks need an annual inspection to keep it healthy. If you’ve noticed any of the issues stated above, then it is time to bring in a professional to help you determine if your deck is salvageable or needs replacing.