We’re still early into the spring season, and it’s the perfect time to enjoy our outdoor landscapes. For many people, part of enjoying their yards includes spending time on their decks. Decks are the perfect place for hanging out with friends and family, enjoying afternoon grilling, and sunbathing, among other things. However, there are ways your deck can be damaged.
You have to confirm that your deck is safe before anyone tries to use it. This means inspecting the area and making note of any possible defects your deck has. Here are some ways your deck can be damaged and how you can resolve these issues.
Your Ledger is Loose
If the deck you own is attached to your home, it will be supported with a ledger. With the help of a metal hanger, the ends of your floor joists will attach to your ledger. If this ledger is decayed or improperly fastened, your deck can collapse.
Water damage can eat away at your ledger, so a continuous string of metal flashing should be used all across your ledger. If you don’t have flashing, you have to get one installed and be sure that it extends behind the siding of your house. The flashing also has to overlap your ledger’s top edge.
You’ll need to be sure that your ledger gets tightly bolted down. Fastening it with carriage bolts or lag screws is best, but you have to be careful because you can’t have the screws or bolts only be fastened to the plywood sheathing. They have to be fastened specifically to solid house framing.
If only decking screws or nails are holding your ledger in place, get half-inch-diameter carriage bolts or lag screws installed and have them split between 16 and 24 inches apart. Replace your ledger if it is either cracked or split.
If you have an elevated deck, it will probably be supported with the help of vertical wood posts. Inspect all of your posts carefully because you want to be sure that your posts are connected both to the concrete pier and to your deck frame. Take a look at your post’s base and inspect for water damage. To test for water damage, use an awl. You’ll know your post is rotting if the fibers are soft or if your awl sinks very deeply into your wood. Rotting posts have to be replaced.
Contact Albaugh & Sons
Since 2003, Albaugh & Sons, LLC has been dedicated to meeting the fencing, decking, and home remodeling needs of homeowners throughout the greater Frederick area. All of our team members are experienced, well-trained, and committed to exceeding the expectations of every customer.