There’s nothing quite like sitting out on the desk, watching a sunny day go by. But as the warmer weather comes to an end, it’s important to do those last-minute safety checks before the cold Fall arrives. That way, you can guarantee your deck will be in tip-top condition the next time the sun lifts its head.
Here are the top 6 things to check on your deck.
Decay or splitting in the wood
Make sure your deck is still in good condition by looking out for decay signs or splits in the wood. A common issue with decking is the weakening of the ledger board – which can be caused by splitting or decay. The ledger board is the part where the decking meets the house and includes the support posts for the deck and the railings and stairs.
It’s a good idea to thoroughly inspect the deck for decay or splitting; however, areas that tend to stay wet and damp should be checked properly.
If you have a screwdriver or ice pick, you can use this to test how soft the top layer of wood is. If it’s easy to scrape or break into splinters, this could be a sure sign of decay.
You might also want to look at any small holes in the deck, as these could be a telltale sign of insect damage.
Make sure the flashing is firmly in place
The flashing of a deck is typically between the ledger board and the house. This plastic or metal guttering moves water away from the deck and stops debris or moisture collecting. If you notice areas where water is pooling, it might be worth speaking to a deck builder St Louis about replacement flashing.
Inspect screws, nails, and anchors
You should try to tighten any fasteners that have come loose and re-hammer any nails that have popped out. If certain fasteners have rusted, you should replace these as soon as possible. If rusty fasteners are left, they can cause damage to the wood surrounding it – which will cost a lot more than a new screw to replace!
Double-check railings and stairs
The railings or steps themselves should never sway or wobble. If this is the case, there are likely a few fasteners loose or some corroded support wood.
Clean away mildew
Before and during the Fall, you should keep the deck free of leaves and debris. Leaves and heavy rainfall can make the deck and accident waiting to happen, as the floor will become much more slippery. Debris and rain can also promote the growth of mildew. Mildew should be properly removed and the deck cleaned before applying a waterproof coating to protect the wood. This should hopefully help to prevent the wood-decaying.
Trim back the trees
If your deck is surrounded by trees, make sure that no branches could break off and damage the deck – or injure you – during bad weather.
Finally, make sure to check on any firepits, grills, and lighting you have on the deck. Once all of this is done, you can get back to enjoying those last few days of sunshine before heading indoors for the chilly season.