May is Deck Safety Month

May 1, 2021 | deck maintenance

Here’s What you Need to Know

With the excitement of spring and the good weather, comes the glorious days of relaxing on your deck. Nothing is more rewarding than enjoying fresh air and the outdoors.  Before you make your way out onto that deck of yours, inspect it first! Every year, there are reports of deck failure and it is usually during a party or large family gathering.

One important thing to consider when reviewing the “health” of your deck, is the age. As your deck ages the repairs will become more frequent. You will want to weigh the cost of your repairs vs. a new deck.

Check for Rot, Insect and Wood Damage

Do a visual check around your deck for wood damage or rot. Pay special attention to the ledger area, decking, joists (if accessible), beams, stair connections (if necessary) and wood that is in contact with the ground or cement. If you notice an area that seems suspect, use an awl or a screwdriver to see if it penetrates the wood by a ¼ inch.  If so, you will want to address that area and further inspect the damage right away.

Check the Ledger

The ledger board attaches your deck to your home. This is the most important connection and the cause of most deck fails. This needs to be installed with lag bolts and should show no sign of rust or damage. If your ledger board connection shows any signs of damage or rust; repair this area immediately prior to use. 

Deck Connections – Bolts and Fasteners

Review your deck connections: anchors, fasteners, screws and nails for corrosion, looseness and nail pops. If you come across corroded fasteners, replace them.  Any nail pops should be pounded down. Your deck is meant to be sturdy and should not sag.

Flashing

Flashing is the metal or plastic material between your ledger board and home. The purpose for flashing is to direct water away from your deck’s connection point so it does not enter your home. Your flashing should be firmly in place. If you notice that water is collecting around the flashing or if it is damaged, you will want to address it immediately because it could cause damage to your home’s interior.

Railings

Your railings should be securely in place.  They should not move when yanked on, as they are a safety device.

Ready to Upgrade

Have your repairs become more and more frequent?  Are you tired of looking at your tattered outdoor living space and ready for an upgrade? If this is the case, then you have a few things to consider such as material choices and design options for your home. Let Cedarbrook get your started off right with a free consultation for your new outdoor living space. Our design and sales professionals are exceptionally knowledgeable and can answer your questions and concerns.

When you are ready for your new outdoor living space call Cedarbrook Outdoor Design/Build – 301-703-8728 for a consultation. We will have you enjoying the great outdoors right at home no time.

Talk to the Pros

From the outset, your professional and helpful demeanor set you apart from some of the other contractors we contacted. In consulting with us several times on how best to reuse the old deck structure and how to choose materials that would give us a durable and attractive deck, your time was generous and your advice was solid. Seeing a contracted job finished ahead of schedule is something we have never experienced before!

F. Wenner, Frederick, MD