Your deck is the lifeline around your family’s outdoor entertainment. There is no doubt about that. Without a good one, forget about memorable birthday parties and cookouts. It is by far the most ideal place for gatherings especially over the weekend. With that in mind, it becomes easy for one to understand why the deck must not just be safe but also up to the latest regulatory codes. This begs the question, ‘How often then should one have his or her deck inspected?’ Read on to learn more.
The Basic Rule
The thumb rule is that professional inspection of your deck to ascertain its overall condition and strength should be scheduled after every two years. It does not end there. The deck surface should also be thoroughly cleaned annually. This will go a long way to extend its aesthetics and most importantly, lifespan.
Remember that just like your home, the deck goes through lots of stress throughout the year. It gets exposed to load bearing situations, inclement weather conditions and the usual wear and tear. This means at no point in time will you have a deck that remains in the same condition after one year. Using the following checklist should therefore be your reprieve.
Modern decks are made of either composite or wood treated with strong chemicals to keep bugs at bay. It happens though that there are decks today that were built in the 80s. This means they are susceptible to damage caused by inspects as use of insecticides wasn’t advanced in the 80s. Step on your deck then notice if there are slight movements. Any movement signals not just structural and integrity issues but a sign that the deck could be feeding ants and termites.
Fasteners And Connectors
This should be easy because fasteners and connectors are visible. The most common setback here is rust. Always ensure that your deck’s joist’s, connectors and fasteners are all in perfect shape. Check other connectors too such as screws and nails. Call an inspector as soon as you detect rust.
Note that any deck that’s more than 10 years should be inspected by a professional with knowledge of the current codes. Note too that building codes evolve all the time. This means that even materials and building techniques change. The best you can do is to get a building professional who is both experienced and familiar with your local area’s building codes.
Rotting And Cracks
Woods crack after some time. This should not worry you at all. If anything, woods often end up with small cracks. Keep an eye though on cracks that tend to occur between joists or around fasteners. They can easily exploit weaknesses in the deck and lead to fatal problems down the line. Seal and stain your deck after every two to three years so as to reduce cracking caused by water, heat exposure or even cold.
Point To Note
Inspection does not have to unearth the fact that something is wrong with your deck. It can be done only for you to notice that nothing is amiss. On the other hand, it can be done only for you to notice things you may never have thought about like mold and mildew infestation.