We all know home decks are a wonderful feature. However, for as much joy and relaxation opportunities as they can bring, decks are often not as well maintained as other areas of a home.
To ensure your deck is durable and safe, we recommend trying the following ways to check deck wood.
- Examine the Ledger: While the deck is partly freestanding, it’s still part of a house. A board known as the “ledger” is where the deck and house connect. Any corrosion in the screws joining the ledger and deck or any rot in the ledger itself is a serious structural problem. Drill a hole into a ledge from underneath the deck. Repair or replacement is needed if the drill bit doesn’t meet solid wood.
- Look at the Dead Ends: Decks naturally accumulate organic matter, including: Pine cones, grass clippings, and leaves. These types of debris retain water, and that moisture will decay the wood surfaces the debris is touching over time. When wood breaks off easily and does not splinter in these dead-end areas, it’s time to call a deck contractor.
- Inspect the Posts: An area often overlooked by homeowners, posts are what support a deck’s weight, making them critical for its structure. To check each post, remove the soil and any debris from around the base. Visually examine the condition for signs of decay or other issues.
- Pay Attention to Pests: Deck damage is often visible, but insects are an exception to that rule. Pests can bore into wood and eat away at its inner structure, leaving the outside appearing normal. Look at a deck closely to see if there are any insects or entry holes. These holes vary in size and can be as small as a pinpoint or as large as over a quarter of an inch. Insects also tend to leave sawdust in their wake, so unexplained sawdust is another potential infestation sign.
Don’t wait to have your deck repaired or replaced when you spot one or more of the damage signs above. Even minor damage can destroy a deck over time or make it unsafe to use. If you’re concerned about your deck, contact Dream Builders of VA for help today.