Decking’s aren’t just a pretty piece of decor to add to your home. People walk on them, sit on them, and eat on them. So, it’s important to make sure that your deck is a safe place to congregate. An unsafe decking area could not only damage your house, it could hurt a member of your family or a guest. One way to keep your decking safe is by regularly checking it for signs of wear and tear. Here are a few things you should keep in mind while inspecting your decking.
- Are All the Connections There?
- For optimal safety, a deck should be built with many different kinds of connectors, including screws, nails, and metal braces. Do a quick inspection of your deck. If you see all these connectors in use, that’s a sign that your deck was built properly.
- Are All the Connections Tight?
Over time, connectors can work their way out of the wood. Loose stairs and wobbly railings are a sign that the connectors holding them together might need to be tightened or replaced.
- Is the Wood Free of Rot?
Especially in areas with intense weather changes, decking wood can begin to rot, and rotting wood does not have the strength to support a person’s weight for long. One way to test this is by trying to drive a screwdriver into the decking. If it’s really difficult, that means the wood is still strong.
If the wood is rotten beyond repair, then the best thing to do is to replace it. If you feel your DIY skills aren’t quite up to scratch, then getting a builder in from somewhere like TrustATrader is a good idea.
- Are the Deck Posts Cantered?
Vertical decking posts should be planted in the centre of their metal footings. As long as they remain in the centre every time you check, that means the deck is structurally solid. Central posts offer great support to the deck.
- Are the Connectors Still Good?
Over time, metal connectors can rust and become weak. Inspect your decking for signs of rusted or otherwise corroded nails, screws or bolts. If they all look as good as new, they’ll be able to hold everything together for quite a while yet.
When your decking is made following safe decking building policies, routine inspections should reveal that everything is fine. If there is a problem, you can try to repair it or even redesign and rebuild it. The safer your decking is, the longer it will last, and your family can enjoy it for several years!