It’s an alarming fact that a large number of people have been injured due to deck collapses. Homeowners are often unaware of the need to inspect their deck or porch for safety, but ensuring the structure is solid and not past its use-by date is essential. Without further ado, here are the six major signs you need a new deck:
1. Sagging or Rotting Materials
If you notice your deck boards dip when you walk on them, it’s a sign that it may be time to replace it. Check if the sagging is coming from the joists or the boards themselves. If the wood appears rotten or soft at the ends of the boards, it’s time to build a new deck.
2. Old Age of the Deck
If you bought a house with a deck already installed, you should ensure it meets your area’s building codes. Check how old it is to ensure it is current with the regulations. If you are uncertain of its age or if it complies with the regulations, you can get a decking company to come and inspect it.
3. Unsteady Railing
A strong deck railing is essential for keeping people safe from tumbling off a deck. If the railing feels shaky or weak, it indicates that the deck may need to be replaced. Wobbling the railing or leaning against it can help determine its sturdiness. If the railing feels unsteady, a professional decking company should be contacted immediately. To avoid people leaning against or standing near an unsafe railing, caution tape or orange cones should be put up. This is particularly important if the deck is higher off the ground.
4. Unstable Joists
Joists are an essential structural component of a deck, and it’s important to check them regularly to ensure they are in good condition. Look for signs of damage, rotting, or sagging. If your joists are made of wood, touch them to see if they are soft or weak. If they show signs of water or termite damage, contact a decking company immediately to replace them. Do not use the deck until the joists have been replaced.
5. Unsecured Posts
The posts in your deck are absolutely essential for its stability and longevity. It’s important to check how well they are connected to the joists and flooring. Give them a good shake to check for any wobbling, and call a decking contractor immediately if you notice any instability. Furthermore, look to ensure the posts are held together with strong bolts or metal fixtures rather than standard nails. If they are, then it’s time to consider replacing the deck.
6. Ineffective Ledger Boards
It’s very important to check the condition of your ledger boards. Are they in good shape, or are they loose and unsteady? Ensure they are firmly connected to your home to ensure the safety of your deck. Additionally, make sure that the ledger boards provide a waterproof seal to protect against water damage. Install flashing to prevent water from seeping in, which can cause the deck to collapse.
It is important to know the signs suggesting it is time to get a new deck. A worn-out deck is a hazard and can lead to serious injury or death if not addressed. To ensure the safety of your family, friends, and yourself, it is a good idea to inspect your deck regularly and replace it when necessary.
Clear Choice Custom Decks is a locally owned and operated company specializing in building one-of-a-kind outdoor living spaces. We specialize in decks, swimming pools, concrete and pavers, and painting. If you’re considering getting custom decks in Michigan, we’ve got you covered! Get in touch with us today to request an estimate!