Decks Games

Easy Deck Inspection and Deck Repair Tips

Required Tools for this Project

Overview: The weak deck drawback and options

Easy Deck Inspection and Deck Repair Tips

Deck drawback guidelines

It takes just a few minutes to examine your deck for these issues. Fixes are often straightforward.

A well-built deck will final for many years. However a deck that’s rotting or lacking fasteners, or that strikes once you stroll on it, could also be harmful. Decks constructed by inexperienced do-it-yourselfers, not inspected once they have been constructed, or greater than 15 years previous (constructing codes have been totally different again then!) are prone to critical issues. Yearly, individuals are severely injured, even killed, when decks like these fall down. This has often occurred throughout events when the deck was full of friends.

Now for the excellent news. A lot of the fixes are fast, cheap and straightforward. Residence facilities and lumberyards carry the instruments and supplies you’ll want. Or go to to seek out native shops that inventory anchors, submit bases and connectors.

On this article, we’ll present you the warning indicators of a harmful deck—and learn how to repair the issues. Should you’re nonetheless unsure whether or not your deck is protected, have it inspected by your native constructing inspector.

Drawback 1: No lag screws in ledger board

Easy Deck Inspection and Deck Repair Tips

Drive lag screws

Fasten the ledger to the home with lag screws. Drive them quick with a corded drill and socket. Each lag screw should have a washer.

Easy Deck Inspection and Deck Repair Tips

Shut-up of deep socket

Driving screws with a drill and socket hurries up the job.

The ledger board holds up the top of the deck that’s towards the home. If the ledger isn’t properly fixed, the deck can merely fall off the home. A constructing inspector we talked with stated the most typical drawback with DIY decks is ledger boards not correctly fixed to the home. For a robust connection, a ledger wants 1/2-in. x Three-in. lag screws (or lag bolts when you have entry from the within to lock the washers and nuts) pushed each 16 in. This ledger board was fixed principally with nails as an alternative of lag screws (and no washers).

Beginning at one finish of the ledger board, drill two 1/Four-in. pilot holes. Offset the holes so the highest isn’t aligned with the underside gap. Then drive the lag screws (with washers) utilizing a drill and an impression socket (you’ll want a socket adapter that matches in your drill). Don’t countersink the screws—that solely weakens the ledger board.

Drawback 2: Lacking nails in joist hangers

Easy Deck Inspection and Deck Repair Tips

Drive joist hanger nails

Fill each nail gap in joist hangers, utilizing joist hanger nails solely. Should you discover different varieties of nails, exchange them with joist hanger nails.

Easy Deck Inspection and Deck Repair Tips

Shut-up of joist hanger nails

Joist hanger nails have thicker heads and a heavy galvanized coating.

Granted there are a whole lot of nail holes in a joist hanger—however all of them have to be crammed. In any other case, the hangers can pull unfastened from the ledger board or rim joist. Deck builders typically drive a few nails into the hangers to carry them in place, then overlook so as to add the remaining later. This deck had solely a single nail in some joist hangers. In different areas, it had the improper nails. Joist hanger nails are the one nails acceptable. These brief, fats, galvanized nails are specifically designed to carry the hangers in place beneath heavy masses and resist corrosion from handled lumber.

Drawback Three: Rotted posts

Easy Deck Inspection and Deck Repair Tips

Photograph 1: Brace the deck

Prop up the deck with short-term braces so you possibly can take away the rotted submit. Cease jacking whenever you hear the deck start to creak.

Easy Deck Inspection and Deck Repair Tips

Photograph 2: Set up an anchor and base

Faucet a wedge anchor right into a predrilled gap within the footing, then tighten the publish base over it.

Easy Deck Inspection and Deck Repair Tips

Photograph 2A: Shut-up of anchor

The wedge anchor fastens the metallic submit base solidly to the footing.

Easy Deck Inspection and Deck Repair Tips

Photograph Three: Set up the brand new submit

Set the brand new submit into place and nail it to the bottom. Plumb the publish and fasten it to the rim joist or beam.

Deck posts that relaxation instantly on footings take in water and then they rot, particularly posts that aren’t strain handled (like this one, which is cedar). Because the submit rots, it loses its power and can’t help the deck’s weight. Newer decks maintain the concrete footings a number of inches above floor and use a particular base bracket to maintain the posts dry. Changing a rotted submit is one of the best answer. Earlier than eradicating the publish, make sure you have got every part you want for the alternative, together with a wedge anchor.

Clear grass or stone away from the underside of the deck submit. Prod alongside the underside of the publish with a screwdriver or an axe. If the wooden is spongy or items simply peel away, you’ll want to switch the submit. Begin by nailing 2x4s or 2x6s collectively to make use of as short-term braces. Place scrap wooden on the bottom for a pad inside Three ft. of the submit being changed, then set a hydraulic jack over it. Reduce the brace to measurement, set one finish on the jack and place the opposite finish beneath the rim joist. Slowly jack up the brace till it’s wedged tight. Watch out to not overdo it. You’re simply bracing the deck, not elevating it. Should you hear the joist boards creak, then cease. Then place a second brace on the opposite aspect of the submit (Photograph 1). (In case you don’t have jacks, you possibly can lease them.) Or you’ll be able to set your short-term braces instantly on the pads and drive shims between the posts and the rim joist.

Mark the submit location on the footing, then take away the publish by chopping by means of the fasteners that tie it to the rim joist. Use a metallic blade in a reciprocating noticed (or knock out the publish with a hammer). If there’s already a bolt protruding of the footing, use it to put in a brand new submit base. If not, you’ll want so as to add a Three/Eight- by Four-in. wedge anchor. Do that by putting the publish base on the marks the place the previous submit sat, and then mark the middle. Take away the submit base and drill the middle mark with a Three/Eight-in. masonry bit. Drill down Three in., then blow the mud out of the opening.

Faucet the anchor into the opening with a hammer (Photograph 2). Set up the publish base over the anchor. As you tighten the nut on the anchor, the clip expands and wedges tight towards the opening’s partitions to carry itself in place.

Minimize a handled submit to suit between the publish base and the highest of the rim joist. Set the submit into place and tack it to the submit base with 8d or 10d galvanized nails (Photograph Three). Place a degree alongside the submit. When it’s plumb (straight), tack it in place to the rim joist. Then set up a connector and drive carriage bolts by way of the rim joist (see Drawback Four under).

Drawback Four: Wimpy submit connections

Easy Deck Inspection and Deck Repair Tips

Reinforce publish connections

Strengthen submit connections with carriage bolts. Drill holes, knock the bolts by way of, then tighten a washer and nut on the opposite aspect.

Ideally, posts ought to sit immediately beneath the beam or rim joist to help the deck. If the posts are fixed to the aspect of the beam or rim joist, just like the one proven right here, the load is placed on the fasteners that join the submit to the deck. This deck had solely three nails within the publish—a recipe for collapse. Nails alone aren’t robust sufficient for this job, regardless of what number of you employ. For a robust connection, you want 1/2-in.-diameter galvanized carriage bolts.

Add two of those bolts by drilling 1/2- in. holes by way of the rim joist and submit. An Eight-in.-long 1/2-in. drill bit prices $10. The size of the bolts depends upon the dimensions of your submit and the thickness of the rim joist (add them and purchase bolts at the very least 1 in. longer than your measurement). We used Eight-in. bolts, which went via two 1-1/2- in. rim joists and a Three-1/2-in. publish. Faucet the bolts via with a hammer, then add a washer and nut on the opposite aspect.

Drawback 5: Wobbly deck syndrome

Easy Deck Inspection and Deck Repair Tips

Add a diagonal brace

Stiffen a wobbly deck with a diagonal brace run from nook to nook. Drive two nails per joist.

In case your deck will get a case of the shakes once you stroll throughout it, there’s in all probability no purpose for concern. Nonetheless, in some instances, the deck motion places additional stress on the fasteners and connectors. Over time, the joists can draw back from the rim joist or ledger board and twist out of their vertical place, which weakens them. Fastening angle bracing underneath the deck will stiffen it and take out the sway. The braces are principally hidden from view and allow you to stroll in your deck with out feeling prefer it’s going to fall down at any second.

Run a handled 2×Four diagonally from nook to nook, beneath the deck. Drive two 16d galvanized nails via the brace into every joist. If a single board gained’t span the space, use two, overlapping the braces by at the very least two joists. Minimize the bracing flush with the surface fringe of the deck.

Drawback 6: Lacking ledger flashing

Easy Deck Inspection and Deck Repair Tips

Photograph 1: Loosen the siding

Pry the siding away from the home and take away the deck board that’s over the ledger to clear the best way for brand spanking new flashing.

Easy Deck Inspection and Deck Repair Tips

Photograph 2: Insert the flashing

Slide the flashing behind the siding so the lip covers the highest of the ledger. Reattach the siding.

Easy Deck Inspection and Deck Repair Tips

Photograph Three: Seal the underside

Seal out water alongside the underside fringe of the ledger, if the underside flashing is lacking, by operating a bead of caulk.

The world across the ledger board must be watertight. Even small leaks can result in mould contained in the partitions of the home and, even worse, the home rim joist (which helps the ledger) will rot and the ledger will fall off. Stand or crawl beneath the deck and take a look at the ledger board. In case you don’t see a metallic or plastic lip excessive of the ledger board, add the flashing. Flashing was utterly lacking from this deck.

So as to add flashing, first take away the deck board that runs alongside the home. If the boards run diagonally, snap a chalk line 5-1/2 in. from the home, then set the blade in a round noticed to the depth of the decking boards and minimize off the board ends. (Substitute the cutouts on the finish of the job with a 5-1/2-in.-wide board put in parallel to the home.)

For vinyl, wooden or different lap siding, work a flat bar beneath the siding and gently pull out the nails (Photograph 1). Insert the flashing behind the siding (Photograph 2). When you have a brick or stucco home, you in all probability gained’t see any flashing as a result of the ledgers are sometimes put in instantly over brick or stucco.

We used vinyl flashing, however you may also use galvanized metallic or aluminum flashing. At every joist location, make a small reduce within the flashing lip with a utility knife so it’ll lie flat over the joists. The remainder of the lip ought to match excessive fringe of the ledger board.

You need to have flashing underneath the underside fringe of the ledger too. However since there’s no approach so as to add it with out eradicating the ledger board, run a bead of acrylic caulk alongside the underside of the ledger board to seal out water (Photograph Three).

Drawback 7: Rickety railing posts

Easy Deck Inspection and Deck Repair Tips

Drill bolt holes

Strengthen a unfastened railing publish with carriage bolts. Drill a pair of holes by way of the publish and framing. Angle the opening to keep away from joist hangers.

Easy Deck Inspection and Deck Repair Tips

Insert carriage bolts

Faucet carriage bolts into place and add a nut and washer to anchor them.

Unfastened railings gained’t result in your deck falling down, however you may tumble off your deck. Railing posts hooked up solely with nails are sure to return unfastened, and regardless of what number of new nails you drive into them, you gained’t clear up the issue. As an alternative, add carriage bolts. Measure the thickness of the submit and rim joist, then purchase 1/2-in.- diameter galvanized carriage bolts that size plus 1 in. Additionally get a nut and washer for every. Drill two 1/2-in. holes via the submit and rim joist. Offset the holes, protecting one about 1-1/2 in. from the highest of the joist and the opposite the identical distance from the underside (be sure that to keep away from drilling the place a joist abuts the rim joist). Faucet the carriage bolts via the holes, then tighten the nuts till the bolt heads are set flush with the publish.

Required Instruments for this Undertaking

Have the required instruments for this DIY challenge lined up earlier than you begin—you’ll save time and frustration.

You’ll additionally want a small hydraulic jack and gloves.

Required Supplies for this Undertaking

Keep away from last-minute buying journeys by having all of your supplies prepared forward of time. Right here’s an inventory.