Homeowners who have an outdoor deck on their property need to perform some type of regular maintenance if they want to keep it in good condition. If you’re one of them, you will most likely notice signs that it needs to be repaired. Horizontal surfaces that are exposed to the weather can be hard to keep in good condition, which is why they also need to be waterproofed. It may eventually have areas with standing water. Freeze and thaw cycles can also create problems. But while there are products out there that can waterproof your deck, there are some things you need to check because it may need to be repaired.
How to Know if Your Deck Needs Repair
The first thing you should look for is any signs of rot, especially if you have a wooden deck. It can get inside the wood and can weaken the deck’s overall integrity. Many fatal accidents occur if the deck has enough rot to cause a collapse. Check the wood for any soft spots. If it feels spongy, it has most likely fallen victim to rot. If it looks like it’s in a small enough section, it may be possible to take out the affected area before it spreads to the rest of the wood panels.
You also want to look for any cracked or damaged boards, which is a common occurrence for wooden decks. In most cases, cracked boards occur over time as a result of regular wear and tear as it’s exposed to traffic and the elements. You should check all of the high-traffic areas on your deck, but you want to look at all of the low-traffic areas as well because they can also experience this type of damage. If you see any cracked or damaged boards, just remove and replace them with new panels.
The last thing you should check are the connectors and fasteners that are used to keep your deck together. In addition to nails and screws, metal connectors are used to keep the deck’s components secure. It’s sometimes possible for these connectors to become rusted. If that’s the case, they need to be replaced. Connectors can also become loose over time and are much easier to fix. An easy way to look for this kind of problem is to see if there are any wobbly nails or loose stair steps. If you notice any of these signs, just tighten the screws or use new nails to fix the problem.
What You Can Do to Maintain Your Deck
A properly built and waterproofed deck won’t require a great deal of maintenance, but it doesn’t mean you should ignore any of the regular tasks related to deck repair and maintenance. Here are some things you can do to keep your deck in good condition:
- General Deck Inspection — You should regularly inspect your deck to make sure everything is working properly. This includes the deck perimeter, as well as any lighting or electrical outlets. You also want to make sure that any sources of fire and heat are kept away from flammable areas and are protected by a non-flammable pad.
- Detailed Deck Inspection — Look for the deck’s stability in different areas. This includes the deck boards, stairs, support posts, as well as any joists under the deck and ledger board that attach the deck to the property.
- Deck, Stair, and Railing Inspection — Make sure the deck stairs look even without sagging, swaying, or movement. Check the railings or handrails to make sure they’re firmly in place. You also want to make sure the steps are securely attached and aren’t decayed.
- Deck Cleaning — Removing any dirt and debris is an important step in maintaining your deck, especially when it comes to its appearance. But the presence of certain types of organic matter (such as leaves or moss) can be a slip hazard. In most cases, all you need is a mild household cleaner that has been diluted in water and a soft brush or broom that you can use for scrubbing.
- Deck Waterproofing — The amount of time and money that’s needed to keep your deck waterproofed will depend on what type you have on your property. Wooden decks will need to be sanded and stained on an annual basis to maintain their integrity and appearance. If you’re applying a liquid coating over a concrete deck, it will need to be re-applied regularly.
If you’re looking for one of the best places for deck waterproofing in Los Angeles, be sure to get in touch with the Fiber Coat Deck Company.