Structural stability is by far the most important factor to be on the lookout for when inspecting you outdoor deck. There are of course, other factors which are important. The deck’s aesthetic appeal is for example, a key factor you shouldn’t compromise on. So how exactly should you go about inspecting your outdoor deck? Are there other factors or elements of inspection you need to consider? Read on to learn more.
Always ensure your deck footing is professionally done. Ensure the footing’s extension, the tube around it and the metal bracket that fastens the post to the footing are all sturdy. The beams should also sit on the post well. This should not be hard to inspect since all you need to do is ensure that the bolts on the beams where you put two boards together to come up with a beam are professionally done.
Be keen where wires are involved. Your concern here shouldn’t be structural integrity but safety as well. Remember you’re not supposed to have the wiring stapled on the outer part of the siding. That is tantamount to unprotected wiring. It is susceptible to damage.
Be keen on lateral bracing as well. It should be nailed at the bottom side of the deck boards. This will prevent the deck from swaying from side to side. Feel free to test the structural integrity of the deck by rocking it a little from the outside corners. The deck should not rock at all. Rocking, however slight, means the deck is not structurally stable. Putting on some steady lateral bracing can go a long way to ensure the deck is structurally stable.
There should be some type of metal flashing or membrane between your house and your deck to prevent water damage. This only applies if there is flashing between the deck and your house. With that in mind, inspect under the deck to see if the flashing is still firmly in place. Then while at it, beck on the signs for water damage where the house and the deck meet.
The foundation size of your deck should always depend on the condition of your soil as well as the deck size. Ensure that your deck posts are at least 48 inches deep into the ground. This should be below the frost line to ensure resistance to shifting and movement.
The measurements change where concrete piers were used to set up posts. Start by checking posts to ensure they solidly fit into piers which should measure anything between 6 and 36 inches in diameter. The measurement you ultimately go for should be based on the size of deck the piers will be supporting. Note that posts should be secured with concrete or galvanized metal. Be sure that the connectors you use are strong enough and not rusting. Be sure to also insect fasteners and nails for signs of corrosion or general weakness. If and where possible, carry out inspection on structural framing fasteners after every two three months especially if you live in a windy area.