Tips from The Handyman Connection
Thank you to Handyman Connection for sharing the following tips.
Collapsing decks is a serious problem.
Decks collapse for a variety of reasons but mostly because they were not built correctly, they have not been properly maintained and because they’re too old.
To make sure your deck is safe, look for these warning signs:
- Missing Connections – Look underneath your deck for missing connections. A deck needs to be built with metal connectors, nails, screws, and bolts. Make sure all of the wood framing under your deck is tied together with metal connectors and that the deck is connected from the house all the way into the ground with metal connectors. The most critical connection of a deck is the ledger, where the deck attaches to the house. Ledger screws or bolts should be used.
- Loose Connections – Check to see if any railings or stairs are loose. If they are, repair them immediately. Also, check the balusters on the railing and make sure they are spaced less than four inches apart.
- Corrosion – Connectors, nails and screws can corrode. Look for red rust or other signs of corrosion. Make sure the hardware you use to replace the corroded metal is rated for the outdoors to resist corrosion.
- Rot – To test the wood on your deck, stick a screw driver in the area of wood you think is rotted. If it appears soft, replace it.
- Cracks – Look for deck boards with large cracks. Deck boards or posts with large cracks should be replaced.
Moisture – Flashing is a metal or plastic guard that directs water away from sensitive areas (where the deck and house meet). This keeps moisture and debris from collecting between the house and the deck’s ledger board. Make sure the flashing is sound and firmly in place. If you see areas that collect water, add or replace the flashing.
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