Deck Red Flags to Watch Out For
Posted by Deck Expressions on Feb 02, 2020
When you step foot onto a deck, you likely assume that it’s safe. Whether it’s your deck, a friend’s deck, or a deck in a public place, these leisurely structures have a duty to support however many people can reasonably fit on it. When it can’t successfully do that, it needs to be repaired or replaced. But, how do you know when that time comes, and what type of deck building supplies will you need to make it safe?
Below, we will go into detail about a few “red flags” your deck might be giving you that implies it is not safe. If there is an easy fix, such as replacing the railing, you may be able to do this yourself by buying easy-to-install deck railing from Deck Expressions. For more intensive projects, the help of a professional contractor can be essential. If you notice any of the problems below and need to replace some or all of your deck, you can rest easy knowing that Deck Expressions offers deck building materials from the brands you know and trust.
Deck Red Flags
Wobbly Deck Railing
Wobbly deck railing is often the first sign that something is amiss with the deck. It’s enough to make anyone not want to get too close to the edge. Thankfully, a loose railing doesn’t mean the entire deck is in disarray. If the rest of your deck is in good shape, replacing the deck railing with an easy-to-install option could be a quick and affordable repair. We offer a variety of deck railing options that will perfectly match your existing deck.
Damaged Support Posts
The support posts of your deck are vitally important to ensuring your deck doesn’t topple. These posts can be susceptible to wood rot, temperature damage, pest damage, and mold. If they are warped, soft, crumbling, cracked, or have other obvious signs of damage, suspend the use of your deck until you have it professionally inspected and repaired.
Replacing the support posts without tearing down the entire deck isn’t impossible, but it is quite difficult and certainly not a job for beginners. Consult a contractor to handle this type of repair.
Rusty Connectors or Fasteners
If the metal components of your deck are rusting, it’s a good idea to call a professional for an inspection. Rusty connectors and fasteners can cause portions of the deck to collapse or pull away from the house, which could cause serious injury and property damage. Regularly take a peek under your deck to ensure that all metal components are in good shape.
If your connectors are rusting or otherwise damaged, you will need to replace them with new deck connectors. When doing this, ensure that the damage hasn’t spread to the wood as well.n
Deck railings, in most cases, should be at least 36 inches tall. If you are on a deck with suspiciously low rails, even if they are sturdy, it could be a sign that the deck was not built to code. If the rails are not to code, imagine what else might not be!
Widely Spaced Balusters
This goes hand in hand with low deck railing. Balusters should not be spaced more than four inches apart. If the balusters of your deck — or a deck you’re hanging out on — are big enough for a child toddler or dog to squeeze through, then that deck was likely not built by a reputable contractor.
Loose Nails or Screws
Decks are held together by a combination of nails, screws, and other connectors. If you find nails or screws that are popping up out of the wood or have fallen out altogether, this could be a major sign of a deck in distress. While one wonky nail might not seem alarming, consider this: Nails don’t just pop out of place for no reason. It means that something is happening within the wood that is forcing the nail out of place. If it’s happening with one nail, it’s likely happening with all of them. Have a deck inspection performed and see if you need to make some major repairs. In our wide selection of deck building materials, we offer deck screws that come in multiple colors to match almost any wood stain or composite material.
When a deck collapses, you might picture the deck floor giving out and everyone falling through the middle. However, the much more common disaster involves the entire deck falling forward away from the home or falling to the side due to the structural supports giving out and the deck breaking away from the wall.
If you notice that a deck doesn’t quite seem square on its supports, it is a major red flag and an inspector should be called out immediately before anyone uses the deck again.
Need to Repair Your Deck? We Have the Supplies You Need!
Deck Expressions is proud to be your go-to source for deck building materials and repair supplies. Whether you need to replace a few screws, fix a broken connector, or replace the decking or railing entirely, we have what you need from the brands you know and trust.
Shop our site today to find the supplies you are looking for, and don’t hesitate to reach out to our team if you have any questions about our products. We’re always happy to chat and ensure you are getting the right materials you need.