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Decks  /  March 22, 2019

How to Inspect Your Outdoor Deck

Like other exterior components, such as roof and siding, outdoor decks require annual inspections to make sure they’re safe to use all year round. Handyman Connection® of Eden Prairie shares a quick guide on how to properly inspect your outdoor deck.

Check for Wood Rot

Take a large screwdriver, and probe around the posts, particularly in areas that contact the ground. If certain areas seem to be soft, try to determine the extent of these soft areas, but do not poke into it. Check other areas of the deck, including the railings and areas where nails penetrate the wood. Small thumb-sized areas can be scraped and filled using wood filler, but larger areas may need to be replaced.

Check the Ledger and Connecting Hardware

The ledger is the framing material that attaches the deck to the house. The transition between these two areas should have flashing, the strips of metal that protect the section against water intrusion. If the flashing is missing, displaced or damaged, it will need to be repaired by a professional. The connecting hardware should likewise be checked. Tighten loose bolts, but not too much to avoid stripping the screws. If the bolts won’t move due to rust, do not force them. Rather, have them replaced by a handyman or a deck repair professional.

Check for Cracks on the Decking Boards

Wooden decks tend to form cracks from exposure to the elements. It’s important to have cracks on the wooden deck fixed as soon as you find them to avoid further damage that may be caused by water intrusion. Fill small cracks with wood filler or epoxy, and sand it down after setting. Then, coat with varnish or similar coating. For large cracks, have the boards replaced. If you are considering deck replacement, investing in a composite deck helps reduce the need for such inspections and repairs.

Handyman Connection of Eden Prairie is your leading provider of handyman services, including deck repairs and installation. Give us a call at (952) 777-4875, or fill out our contact form.

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