If you are a homeowner who has a deck attached to your house, you’ve probably enjoyed many BBQs and relaxing afternoons on your deck. Now that you probably aren't using your deck as much, it’s a good time to make sure it is safe.
First, take time to thoroughly clean your deck. That food that got dropped might have lured some insects to your deck and some of those insects might have eaten some of the wood, which can easily be repaired with wood filler. You also want to get all the dirt off the deck so you can see if there is any damage.
Second, look at all the places where the deck is connected to the house. Inspect the bolts and be sure they are all tight. Get an expert to repair your deck if you notice:
- any rust on the metal holding the connecting beams in place
- any bolts that are rusted or can't be tightened
- any warped beams that are connected to your house
Third, walk on the deck and listen carefully. Pay attention to the boards. If any boards seem to "bounce" or are loose, then those need to be fastened down with deck screws. If the deck seems to sway, then call in an expert to find the problem.
Fourth, carefully put pressure on any railings. If you feel them "give" or move, then they need to be tightened with deck screws.
When doing repairs on your deck, use screws instead of nails. Nails attach wood together, but screws provide more strength than nails since they use the wood's fiber to hold two pieces together. You can find deck screws or exterior screws at any home improvement store.
Being proactive with your deck can also save you from expensive repairs later and having to file an insurance claim.
Protect your house, inside and out.
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