At the beginning of each season be sure to conduct a thorough inspection of your deck. Maintenance checks include:
- Walking around the deck and listen for squeaks.
- Try to feel soft spots or sagging areas.
- Take a screw driver and use it to physically pick or apply pressure to key components of the deck. Wood gets soft as it begins to rot and poking boards with a screw driver will reveal these tell tale signs.
- Check all areas where there is direct wood to wood contact.
- Check where joists contact beams and where the beams contact posts.
- Check the ledger board where the deck connects to the house. Check the bottom of the stair stringers where contact is made with the ground or landing area.
- Take note of areas that are showing water stains as these areas are telling you they received constant moisture and have potential for future problems. Less so if the area is not open grain.
- If the area is open grain facing up to the elements, this area will suck water in
- Deck stairs tend to be susceptible to rot in a couple of key areas – the stringer tread connection points, and the stringer landing points.
- The end grain of the stair treads can soak up water in a hurry depending on how you have configured the tread stringer connection.
- And the stringer itself is susceptible to rot at the foot where it contacts the landing. The end grain here is very vulnerable to soaking up water like a straw.
- Proper deck maintenance involves checking the health of the stringers and elevating them somewhat off the landing.
In the northeast decks should be pressure washed and stained every two to three years to maintain looks and prevent wood rot. We have many years of experience in all kinds of decks and can really enhance the beauty of your home and also be enjoyable for your own comfort.