After the Snow Goes, Check Your Deck!
Keep a Safe Decks with a Few Quick Checks
After winter starts to loosen its grip, and the snow starts to melt, and you start planning summer activities, it’s a great time to start thinking about your deck and any repairs.
It’s hard to beat the summers in the Rocky Mountains. Comfortable days and cool nights make your deck one of the best places to spend your days after hiking or biking. Well-built composite decks should last 25 plus years without any thought other than basic annual cleaning. Wood decks do require more maintenance and not as long-lived as a composite deck, can last for many years with proper upkeep.
So, if your home here is in Summit County, and is used by family and friends, or as a rental, you will need to think about the post-winter deck safety checks.
Get your deck ready for a season of fun, sunshine, and lots of outdoor living.
Here is a checklist for an evaluation of your deck.
- Check the flashing at the locations where your deck meets the house, along with the perimeter of your deck. Check that the deck is still tight and secure, without any signs of rot or damage.
- Make certain that the ledger board for the deck has all of the necessary lag screws to properly fasten the ledger to the home. These screws can become loose, rusted, or corroded, over the years.
- Look for the deterioration of deck connectors and deck fasteners. The winter elements, connectors can weaken much faster here. Solid brackets and fasteners should not appear deteriorated (rust, corrosion, etc.).
- Check around your deck posts. With the amount of snow we receive and the required time four melting and ground water absorption, these areas are subject to rot and deterioration. Be sure to check for signs of water infiltration that can lead to damage and rotting.
- Assess the area around the deck. The combination of snow and melt allows gravity is always at work, which can cause buildings and decks to shift, expand, shrink and settle through the years.
- Composites are many times moreover resistant to breaking down, with an increasing number of decking products coming into the 25-30-year warranty. For wood decks, be sure to check the condition of the wood on every area of the deck. Look for places where snow and ice tend to collect, along with areas below snow dams and gutter down spouts, where water tends to collect and/or freeze regularly.
- Carefully check the railings for damage and rot, as well as for loose bolts and screws and any sagging.
- For tight seals around entryways, doorways, etc. check the caulking and replace caulking as needed.
- For wood decks, after each winter some cracks will appear leading to warped and splintering wood. The extreme cold, UV, shoveling, etc. all lead to painful splinters and indicates a weakling deck structure.
- Check for full stability and structural integrity in areas such as stairs, posts, joists, deck boards, ledger boards and all framing.
- Double-check the joist hangers. Be sure that there are nails in each nail hole and there is no rot at joist ends.
If you have any of these problems that compromise the safety and integrity of your home deck, let Rocky Mountain Decks give your deck a thorough evaluation. We will identify any problem areas and the needed fixes to get your deck back into tip-top shape. Contact us for a free estimate.