Deck Checklist: How to Spot Signs of Trouble

With Spring right around the corner, it’s time to begin dusting off your grill and preparing your deck for all your summer soirees and warm-weather gatherings. But it’s no secret that your deck takes a beating during the colder months. From ice to snow to year-round sun exposure, your deck may be hiding unwanted or dangerous problems. So, taking the time to conduct an annual inspection to ensure your deck is safe and secure for the warmer months is key. If you’re not sure where to begin, we’ve compiled a list of warning signs you should look for.

1. Cracks

It’s no secret that wood splits and cracks overtime. From excessive sun exposure to normal wear and tear, small cracks are to be expected. But if you begin to notice any cracks growing at a faster rate than others, it might be time to replace that piece of wood. Because of the harsh elements your deck sees during the year, consider staining the wood every few years to increase its longevity and durability.

2. Rotted wood

Unlike cracks, rotted wood is not to be messed with. If you notice any spot of rotted wood, it’s best to replace and repair immediately, or call in a professional for a second opinion.

3. Mold and mildew growth

A little discoloration is never a cause for concern, but mold or mildew growth can damage your deck’s structural integrity. While a green hue from excessive rainwater can be power-washed off, keep an eye out for mushrooms or any fungus that may be lurking below the surface and immediately kill or remove the bacteria as soon as possible. Be sure to check stairs or side steps off of decks, as these places tend to attract mold growth first.

4. Loose railings

Nearly every deck has a railing to keep people safe and provide assistance, but railings can be the first to go bad on a deck. What might be a gathering spot for guests to lean on, can also be a major safety hazard if not secured properly. Ensure that your railing is secure and safe by making sure it’s heavily bolted into the structure and does not sway or move when pulled on. Additionally, check any stairs to make sure there are no loose boards or screws.

5. Call a pro

Your deck is one of the few parts of your home that sees the elements of the outdoors year-round, so checking it’s safety every year is important. But if you’re unsure if your space is safe or not structurally sound, reach out to a professional to get a second opinion. Their experience and expertise is unmatched.

Make sure your deck is summer ready and give us a call today to schedule an inspection and let us help you!