You’ve got a dazzling backyard that’s ready to entertain this summer; the BBQ is ready to be fired up, the lawn is looking fresh, and the Esky is itching to kickstart the festivities. But one thing you’ll likely be relying on when the heat turns up this summer is the shade and comfort of your nifty decking. As the host of your warm-weather gatherings, you’ll need yours in tip-top shape this season, so how can you assess whether your deck is up-to-scratch?
Read up on our top tips for assessing whether your deck has been built for long-lasting quality below.
The warning signs you need to watch out for
If you’re not sure what a deck that’s seen better days looks like, there are a few tell-tale signs.
A lack of connections
Your deck will be built using a combination of materials, and without sufficient use of them, it won’t last. This includes the all-important connectors. From nails to screws or metal options – check your deck to assess whether there seems to be any missing. Shortcuts are never a great sign, so whether your build cut corners or they’ve just managed to disappear over time, this is integral to the stability of your deck overall.
As well as checking whether any connectors are missing, it’s important to observe whether there seems to be corrosion among them as well. This includes fasteners, so look carefully for indications of rust that might compromise the integrity and strength of the deck.
Wood that’s rotting or is cracked
Just like corrosion, you’ll need to glance over the wood to see if rot is setting in. Over time, exposure to the elements can rot the wood within the build and create instability. Beyond this, thoroughly assess whether there are any splits and cracks in the timber – signs of this can weaken your structure, ultimately making it unsafe to use.
If your property is subject to a fair amount of rain, you’ll need to check the bottom of the posts to make sure there’s no excess flooding or water damage from the past. If there is, you’ll need to replace these immediately. Luckily, you can replace just one or two, without tearing down the entire structure, but if there are signs of damage across all of the posts, it’s time for a new deck.
Beyond the eye
Sometimes, the biggest tell-tale signs of a deck that hasn’t been built on quality aren’t often easy to spot to the naked eye. For professional builders in the field, knowing the parameters and specifications of building a long-lasting structure comes with the right qualifications and experience. While the above details can help you pinpoint the more simple symptoms of a bad deck, you may require a more in-depth assessment to really highlight any potential risks.