How long have you had your deck? Regardless of what deck material your deck is made of (real wood or composite wood), the average shelf life of a deck is about 10 to 15 years. If you use your deck regularly, it is a good idea to do periodic checks on its condition. Issues such as adverse weather conditions and wear & tear can chip away at the condition of your deck.
Here are 3 things that you should look out for to ensure that your deck remains a safe space for your family and friends:
1) Are the fasteners still in place?
Whether it’s wood screws or anchors, fasteners play a vital role in keeping your deck safe. Time and weather can affect how well they work so it’s important that you check them regularly to ensure that they’re still in place and tightly connected. If you find any rusty fasteners, replace them immediately.
2) Is your deck railing secure?
Deck railing is meant to be a safety feature so don’t let it become a liability! This is especially important if your deck is high off the ground. Check that the different elements of the railing are securely fastened, such as the joints, balusters and both the top and bottom railings. You should also examine the deck material of the railing for any decay or rotting.
Deck railing often endure a lot of stress after years of supporting body weight when people hold onto to them or lean on them. A collapsed deck railing can lead to falls and other injuries so regular maintenance of your railing can go a long way.
3) What is the condition of your deck flooring?
As the main component of your deck, the condition deck flooring determines if it needs to be rebuilt. The rot and decay of your deck flooring is the main concern; water is the enemy of decks as it causes wood to rot.
How can you check if the deck material is still safe? If you hire a professional, they will usually use a long screwdriver to check for decay. If you’re doing it on your own, simply use your finger to press against the wood. If it gives under the pressure of your touch or even start to collapse, it’s a good indication that you should replace the deck material.
Be especially vigilant with areas of the deck flooring that are more exposed to rain & damp, and where the connectors are as rot in these areas would adversely affect the structural integrity of your deck.
Injuries from unsafe decks can be serious so better be safe than sorry! Regular maintenance of your deck is a must and it can help you identify any safety risks and rectify them.
If you’re looking for deck material that is long-lasting and requires little maintenance, here at Jordan Lumber, we would highly recommend Premier Decking by Lowe’s. It gives your deck the superb look and feel of a real wood deck with the durability of a composite deck. For more information, contact us now!