Home decks are the perfect place to sit and relax, and entertain guests. With time, decks age due to general wear and tear and external factors like weather damage. If left unattended, the structure of your deck will deteriorate. At least once a year, you should have deck builders in Toronto take a look at your deck to make sure it is safe to use, secure and strong. The following are major issues you need to look out for that will indicate that your deck is unsafe and that its time for repair.
A home deck is usually built using four major components: firm metal connectors, screws, nails and wood. These building materials provide vital reinforcement to a deck structure ensuring that it remains supported and secure while in use. If you are a new homeowner, you should inspect your deck to ensure that it has been built using these four components. If you find some components missing like metal connectors, that means that your deck is unsafe. Some deck builders use shortcuts resulting in improper building or designs.
It is normal for a deck to suffer wear and tear after years of use. Even if your deck has been properly built using all the major components, with time, connections loosen which compromises the sturdiness and strength of your deck. Major symptoms to look out for that may indicate loose connections include: loose ledgers and steps, wobbly rails and if your deck seems to be moving away from the house. These signs show that your deck is unsafe and that it is time for repair – fast.
During the hot weather, humid conditions create the perfect conditions for wood rot. This can compromise the integrity of your deck with time. Look along the structural elements and boards for any signs of rot like mildew, mold, discoloration and areas that are softer than others. Deteriorated wood beams and boards need to be replaced fast to prevent the rot from spreading.
Cracks in wood
As time goes by, it is natural for wood to develop cracks especially when exposed to weather elements. Cracked wood will weaken your deck’s structure with time and if not repaired soon enough, cracks can lead to your deck collapsing. The wear and tear can also cause wood to warp which can lead to painful splinters.
Corrosion of fasteners and connectors
When wood and metal is exposed to Mother Nature, it is normal that they will react to the elements resulting in corrosion and rust. You should regularly check your fasteners and brackets for any signs of deterioration. If you see any areas of concern but not sure what they indicate, call in a professional deck builder to give you a second opinion.
Retrofitting or repairing an existing deck
Once you have established that your deck is unsafe, you now have a choice to either retrofit or repair it. In some cases, you may have to rebuild your entire deck altogether. If you are working on a shoestring budget and rebuilding your deck is not an option at the moment, there are improvements you can do to strengthen your deck. It is always best to use the services of a professional contractor or engineer to take care of any deck repair issues you have. These professionals have the experience and tools needed to set you on the right course to safety. Before embarking on any serious repair jobs, a contractor will first do a thorough inspection on your deck to determine all the weak points in order to determine their next course of action. After your home deck has been repaired, make sure that you have routine inspections of your deck to ensure it remains safe at all times.