Category Archives: Decking Maintenance

Deck Inspection: How to Inspect Ledgers, Girders, and Joists

Girders and joists work together as the support system for your deck.

Girders and joists work together as the support system for your deck.

Girders and joists are an integral part of your deck. They work in harmony to support the entire walking area. Because these connections are so important, you need to inspect that they were both properly installed, and properly fastened.

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How to Properly Acclimate Decking and Siding

All wood breathes, no matter what kind it is. The fibers that make up the wood absorb and release moisture. It’s required that before you begin installation, you allow the decking to acclimate to your local environment. This helps prevent large expansion and contraction of the wood once it’s installed.

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Deck Inspection: Railings and Stairs

Broken railings and stairs are a leading cause of deck related injuries. Years ago, there weren’t any codes to adhere to when constructing these elements. Most railings were simply nailed without any structural support and when people leaned on it, they failed to stay in place. Stairs are also another common area where improper installation and improper fastening is the culprit of injury.

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How to Maintain Your Hardwood Deck

Every piece of lumber is unique. No one tree is the same. Every board in your deck is going to have different characteristics. Once installed, you want to give your deck the proper maintenance it needs to increase its lifetime and your overall enjoyment. Be rest assured, even though a deck made of Brazilian hardwoods is proven to outlast and outperform softer materials, giving it a little attention once in a while is a good thing (After all, even a Lamborghini needs its oil changed and tires rotated!) Here are some guidelines to follow to maintain the lifetime and beauty of your hardwood deck.

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Deck Inspection: Posts and Footings are the Foundation of Your Deck

Inspecting deck posts and footings.

This is one of the most important elements of your deck. Make sure it’s installed correctly.

Deck posts are an extremely important part of your deck. So, it should be obvious that ensuring they stay in good condition and a part of any routine deck inspection is critical.

A deck is built for load to be evenly distributed throughout the entire surface area. This suggests the ledger board and posts will have an equal load. This assumption is wrong in most cases. If you plan to entertain on your deck, your guests will have a tendency to hang out at the end of the deck where the railings are; thereby increasing the load on the posts and not the ledger board.

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Deck Inspections: Facts

deck inspection tips

Getting your deck inspected can prevent larger headaches in the future.

Did you know that roughly 40% of all the decks in America are deemed safe? When you add in the fact there are an estimated 40 million decks that are over 20 years old and you quickly realize becoming a statistic is a real possibility for many homes.

Just like every aspect of your home needs to be solidly and correctly built, so does your deck. Even though decks appear to be simple and straightforward structures, you should consider them to be a rooms without walls or a roof. It’s an outdoor space that needs to be planted in strong foundations.

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Deck Maintenance – How to Prevent Mold

Keeping your deck clean will keep it from looking like this.

I looked all over for moldy hardwood decks, but all I could find were composite decks like this one.

Unfortunately mold is something that we have to deal with. Mold is everywhere, all the time, but only under the right conditions can it cause a threat. While mold itself is not always bad (think of it as nature’s way of recycling), it can be detrimental to older decks made of soft wood and composites.

Mold only needs a few things to grow: food, such as dirt and pollen, water, and favorable weather conditions. When these three elements are all met, the mold begins to have a feast on whatever it’s sitting on.

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