Warm weather is finally here, and you can’t wait to enjoy your outdoor living space. But before you pull out your deck furniture, make sure the structure that supports it is safe. According to the deck specialists at Breyer Construction, a wet winter andspring can take its toll on decks, especially thosemade of untreatedwood. Even pressure-treated wood can succumb to deterioration over time. Decayed wood is not only unsightly, it can be a serious safety hazard.
Here’s five tips onhow to give your wood deck a spring safety check and determine where you need to do some repairs or replacing:
The place where the deck attaches to the house needs to be strong to prevent deck failure, so this is the first place you’ll want to check. If the wood there is soft when you push into it with a screwdriver, you may be dealing with rot.
Check places where moisture and organic debris collect on a regular basis, such as corners. If you can break off a piece of wood without splinters, the wood may be decaying.
Examine the connections at the top and bottom to assure the framing doesn’t move away from the deck’s structure. If it does, use your screwdriver again to see if the wood is soft.
If the posts “give” when you lean out or wiggle them, they may be decayed. If you’re not sure whether the railing could stop someone from going over if they fell hard against it, it should be repaired.
Look carefully for small holes in the wood, which may indicate insects. In addition to replacing those areas, you may want to contact an exterminator.
Wood is a wonderful choice for a deck. But like all organic material, it can deteriorate with age, especially if it’s not cared for properly. Our team at Breyer wants you to preserve the beauty as well as the strength of your deck so you can enjoy it safely for years to come. To find out how Breyer can help you with a deck inspection, please visit our deck maintenance page.