Decks are beautiful additions to any Oklahoma outdoor area, adding much needed entertaining space, as well as a beautiful environment. A well-built deck will last for many years, however, extreme Oklahoma weather and time can cause it to take a beating. To protect your deck, it needs to be stained and sealed every couple of years, or yearly, depending on your climate. A thorough yearly inspection needs to be conducted as well, to stay on top of any maintenance issues. You certainly don’t want to fall through your deck if you have rotted floorboards so keeping your deck’s health up to date is important. There are several things you need keep an eye out for when inspecting your deck:
- Wood rot
- Loose or rusted screws
- Split planks
Any of these issues is a red flag, and would need to be repaired or replaced depending on the severity. When checking out your deck, there are several components that will need to be inspected.
- Deck surface – The surface of your deck has constant exposure to the elements, allowing it to take the brunt of the abuse. Stain can fade beneath the harsh sun, and sealants can wear away. The entire surface needs to be scanned, with an eye out for loose boards. A loose board can indicate a problem. When inspecting your deck surface, make sure to inspect railings as well. These can loosen over time and may need tightening or repair.
- Joists and beams – Beneath your deck surface lays a support layer made of wood planks that run horizontally to your deck. Without this layer, your deck would sag, and planks would split. Begin your joist and beam inspection at the joists, as this is where moisture collects and rot can begin.
- Posts – Part of the framework of your deck, posts are important for your deck’s integrity and longevity. Make sure to check the post connection with the footer for signs of standing water or rot. This can cause your deck to tilt and eventually collapse if this issue is not addressed.
- Fascia board – Encompassing your deck is a fascia board that wraps around the perimeter. Its purpose is to hide the ends of the deck boards and give your deck a finished appearance. If water runs behind this board and traps moisture, it can warp.
- Stairs – If you have stairs leading up to your deck, it is vital they remain sturdy. Make sure to inspect the tops of the stairs for warping as well as beneath the stairs. If there is evidence of standing water or rot on the posts beneath the stairs, they may need to be replaced. Also, make sure to check the handrails and assure they are solid and don’t wiggle.
Deciding to repair or replace your deck, can be a difficult decision. If your deck is very old, and the cost to repair it comes close to the cost to replace it, then you may want to consider a complete replacement. You can always find ways to reduce the cost of replacement, such as reducing the size of your deck or taking away some features. However, if you are considering replacing, now is the time to reconfigure its design to serve your current needs as well as your vision for your outdoor space.
Call or contact the OKC Backyard today, your Oklahoma Deck Experts if you have any questions.