The benefits of having an outdoor deck are numerous, among them, is the fact that you can have friends and family over and enjoy their company. As we gear up to head into the summer months, outdoor decks will experience a lot of traffic and therefore must be in good condition. While wooden decks can be great to have, at least once a year you should do a thorough once-over of your deck to make sure that it is safe to use. Here are a few signs that your deck might need some repair.
Your deck should have all of the proper connections needed to fully support it. With a combination of wood, screws, nails and metal connectors, your deck will be in proper shape. If you notice that anything is missing, for example, if you only see nails but not screws, this may be a sign that your deck needs repair. If you do see all the proper connections, the next thing to check is that they are not loose. Over time, due to all the traffic a deck will get, natural loosening will occur. Symptoms include wobbly rails or loose steps or ledgers.
Wood rot is another important thing to look out for. Over time, boards in your deck that are rotting can compromise the integrity of your deck. Look for any visible signs such as discoloration in the panels, mildew or mold. If a wood is rotten, it will also be softer than the other ones. If you find a panel that is rotting, be sure to replace it quickly as the rot can spread to the rest of your deck. Be sure to also check for large cracks in the wood. While cracks are natural and will occur over time, large cracks may cause painful splinters are can cause sometime to trip and hurt themselves. If there are any large cracks, simply replace the damaged panel. These are just a few things to keep an eye on to ensure that your deck is safe for use this summer.