It’s Deck Season Again, Is Your’s Safe?

If your deck is fifteen to twenty years old, it may not have been built according to present day building codes. Your existing deck may appear to be in great shape on the surface but it’s the structure that may, or may not, be subject to compromise. Many times the fix is as simple as adding joist hangers, adding to or replacing the carrying beam and replacing existing four by four posts with six by six posts, or if necessary new footings with big foots.

A fix would be the best case scenario. However, many decks do not survive quite as good due to any number of reasons. For example, the lumber you were delivered may not have been the highest quality or the weather may have affected the lumber, the deck was not weathered proofed each year, it was painted instead of stained or heaven forbid it was not built to code. Codes change and it’s our job to make sure we follow the latest codes to insure safety and enjoyment.

In any case an inspection of the deck, which you can do yourself, is probably warranted.

Inspect your deck for any of these warning signs that it may be at risk:

No Joist Hangers These are metal fasteners that fit under and up the sides of the joists and are attached to the header board against the house. Decks have collapsed because no joist hangers were installed when built. If they are installed you will see them. This needs be rectified if there are none.

Space between the joists and the header board If there is space between the joists and the header this could mean that the deck is moving away from the house. This can be caused by a number of reasons and in many cases it could be from the deck moving too much up and down due to frost. Many decks are attached to the house but do not have the proper footings under the posts and are moved by frost.

Post are out of plumb You may not be able to tell just by looking but the posts may not be plumb. Use a level to check the posts to make sure they are plumb both side to side and front to back.

Moving railings The railings may look alright but if you can move them easily then you may safety issues. Check the all the rails and posts on your deck to make sure they are not moving easily.

Rotting deck boards The deck boards may look good as well but you can’t tell just by looking at them. Check the deck boards for any soft spots.

Stairs The stairs should be solid and not move or make any noise when you walk on them.

If you have any doubts about the condition of your deck you should have it looked.

Contact Us to Book Your Deck Build Today

Jeff Densmore Owner/Operator

(902) 293 – 8498