I hope you’re enjoying this two-part deck maintenance series. We discussed how to clean your deck thoroughly and how to stain and seal a wood deck in part one. Now we are going to discuss how to repair and take preventive measures against rot, staining, and other mishaps that often happen to decks. Ready to get started? Let’s go.
First things first – inspect your deck every year. The weather stays hot and humid here in the Atlanta and Decatur Georgia area. It can cause rot and mold and ruin your deck very quickly if you don’t catch it soon enough. If you do find any minor problems we will discuss how to repair them here.
Please don’t attempt to repair structural problems on your own. Call a professional for help, even if it’s just for the initial fix and you repair the rest on your own.
Inspect and Repair
- Look for signs of rot. Using a flat-blade screwdriver probe structural members. Start by checking stairs, and pay close attention to the stringers. You need to also check each perimeter post. If you can push a screwdriver a quarter-inch or more in one area you probably have rot.
- Use a flashlight to inspect underneath the deck. Pay close attention to the ledger. This is important because the ledger is the piece of framing that connects your deck to your house.
- Check all remaining joists, posts, and beams. Check all hardware on your deck and replace any that are seriously rusted.
- Check for rotting deck boards and cracks. Any major cracks and rotted boards need to be replaced.
- Check all railings. Shake the railings to make sure they are not loose or damaged. If you find any loose connections they can be fixed by drilling pilot holes and adding galvanized lag screws. Look for cracks that have developed around any fasteners. If you find any cracks remove the fastener. Seal the crack with an exterior-grade adhesive. Drill a new pilot hole and add a new galvanized screw.
You’ve probably heard the phrase; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That is absolutely true when it comes to deck maintenance. Prevention methods include keeping the deck clean and the surrounding area as dry as possible. Keep your deck in great shape by following these simple steps.
- Trim any nearby bushes and trees. Make sure they are at least 12 inches away from the deck to prevent mold, moss, and rot.
- Do not let leaves or any other debris pile up in the corners.
- Move your deck furniture and any planters around so they won’t leave any stains over time.
- Keep nearby gutters and spouts in good condition.
You’ve put a lot of time and money into building your amazing deck. Proper maintenance guarantees that it will maintain that beautiful, like new appearance year after year. Follow the steps we’ve outlined in both parts one and two of deck care and maintenance, and you simply can’t go wrong.
If you have any questions about how to properly maintain your deck or if you’re concerned about potential structural problems, please give us a call. We’ll be glad to help you with the overall structure of your deck.
Do you like our two-part series for deck cleaning and maintenance? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Let us know by commenting here or sending us an email.