Often times we receive calls from people who want to know if their existing decks are still safe to use. If your decision is to sell your house or looking to buy a new house or just want to know if your present deck is still safe to use until your budget allows for an upgrade. It is critical to understand when a deck can no longer safely support your family. Below are four basic scenarios that lead to decks that are unsafe to use. These are just a few reasons it is better to call your deck repair contractors near you.
The Deck Ledger to House Connection
This is the flat frame against the wall of your house. Basically, it attaches to the house with lag or through bolts. With only nails that attached to it, it is better to add some lag bolts or ledger screws. This connection must also be flashed with rubber or metal flashing. It is hard to tell if it is flashed, you may need to remove the back floorboard and some siding to know for sure. If your deck has no flashing, make sure to check the wood for moisture and softness. If you poke the screwdriver into the wood easily, it means you need to replace it.
For an easy way to check if the wood is already rotting between the ledger and house wall add a few ledger screws or lag bolts to the ledge board. If they grab well in the house wall, it means the wood is still good. However, if the screw or bolts just spin out, it may mean that there is rot in the house wall.
The Joist to Ledger Connection
The joist is the frame members that run perpendicular to the ledger and usually supported in the front by a beam and posts. Thus, it needs to connect to the ledger with metal brackets that U shape. These brackets called joist hangers. Hence, if this part is missing, you will want to add or replace them.
Heaved or Sunken Footers
If the decked is heaved up or sinking in the front by the posts and beams, this can cause serious issues. It may cause the deck to disconnect from the house. Especially if the ledger connection is weak. If you get the heaving or sinking early enough. It may be as simple as replacing the footer under your deck posts. If the deck is high enough to work underneath at least.
Deck builders Atlanta, is your deck builders able to help you to repair your old deck. Or if you want to have a new deck just call us and you will have a new deck installation.