5 Signs Your Deck May Be Unsafe

How to Know When Your Deck Needs Repair

Home decks are the perfect place for entertaining guests. Unfortunately, though, as your deck ages, things like weather damage and general wear and tear can cause the structure of your deck to deteriorate — especially if it was built improperly.

custom home deckAt Robco, we recommend giving your home deck a thorough once-over every year just to make sure it’s still strong, secure and safe to use. Read on for the five major issues you need to look for, each of which may indicate it’s time for repair.

1. Missing Connections

Your home deck should be built using four major components: Wood, nails, screws and firm metal connectors. These provide vital reinforcement to your deck’s structure and ensure that it remains secure and supported while in use. If you inspect your deck and see only wood and nails (which could be the result of either improper building/design or a lack of maintenance), your deck may be unsafe.

2. Loose Connections

After years of use, your deck will suffer wear and tear. Even if you know you have the proper connections in place, depending on how your deck was built, those connections may have loosened over time, which compromises your deck’s strength and sturdiness. Symptoms of loose connections include wobbly rails, loose stair steps and ledgers (the boards attached directly to side of your house to support the deck) that look to be moving away from the home. Note: If the ledger does start pulling away, your deck can become very unstable – fast.

3. Wood Rot

Brand new custom deckIn North Carolina, the hot, humid summers create the perfect conditions for wood rot, which can compromise the integrity of your deck over time. Look along the boards and structural elements for any visible signs of rot, which include discoloration, mold, mildew and areas that are softer than others. Any deteriorated wood boards, beams and otherwise will need to be replaced as soon as possible to prevent spreading.

4. Cracks in Wood

It’s common for cracks to develop in wood as it ages. And while some wear and tear is to be expected, cracked or warped wood can lead to painful splinters—not to mention it weakens your deck’s structure over time, making it vulnerable to collapse.

5. Corrosion of Connectors and Fasteners

Don’t forget that your deck is always exposed to the elements, and Mother Nature can be tough on wood and metals. Give your brackets and fasteners a once-over to see if any look visibly deteriorated (rust, corrosion, etc.). If you see any areas of concern, call a deck repair professional for a second opinion.

Are any of these problems compromising the safety and integrity of your home deck? At Robco, we’re experts in home deck solutions and specialize in deck repair and retrofitting. Contact our expert team today and we’ll give your deck a thorough evaluation, identifying problem areas and fixes needed to get your deck back into tip-top shape. We’re standing by, ready to help!