Here are some helpful tips for Deck safety Month - Inspect Your Deck for the following:
1. First check all main support posts that are below grade. If the posts are metal you may want to check for rust marks or holes in the metal, if they are wood check for wood rot or water damage.
2. Check for “Erosion” around or under the concrete footings which support posts. In some case you may not see the concrete footing because if may be covered by soil. Remove the soil from around the base of the post to prevent rot and or water damage.
3. Please check for loose or shaky stair or deck railings. These, if loose, need to be rebuilt or secured properly to prevent falls. Insure that all railing components such as balusters and caps are properly spaced and secured to meet with today's code requirements.
4. Shifting or sinking of your deck. If you notice that your deck is leaning to one side or that one end is lower than another you may have a serious structural problems - call a deck building professional or structural engineer right away.
5. Deflection or uplift - sometimes tree roots too close to your deck may compromise footings and lift or shift the footing creating serious structural issues.
6. Decking conditions - if the you have deck boards cupping, curling, checking or splitting; it may be time to give your deck a face-lift - please consult with professional deck builder. He or she may provide insight and knowledge on decking solutions that best fit your deck needs.
7 . Stairs and landings - make sure the rise and run of your steps are consist and meet with today's code requirements. Consult with a professional deck builder to ensure all stair connections are properly performed.
8. Deck to house connections - inspect the ledger board connection to the home and insure that your deck is properly bolted or supported as per today's code requirements. Many deck failures occur because of improper connections and supports. Check for any usual movement, spaces between deck and house or joist slippage.
9. Framing - deck bands and joists, please inspect under the deck and look for cracked or split joists, joist separations from band, sagging beams, or leaning support posts. Please consult with professional deck builder and have any defects corrected to keep your deck safe.
10. Finishes - if your deck is wood, check for mold and mildew and have your deck professionally cleaned and retreated. Deck maintenance is important to extending the life of your deck materials and also repainting and re-staining your deck keeps it as an attractive extension of your home.
These tips supplied by Frank Polugruto of Decks and More.