The days are getting warmer, and decks are springing up like dandelions. As more and more people expand their outdoor living space, it may be a good time to reflect not only on the benefits a deck provides, but also the common deck defects that can result from improper installation and care.
Here are just four:
- Lacking ledgers: Installed as part of the frame construction, ledgers are horizontal beams of lumber that support your deck when attached directly to your home. The floor joists are attached to either end using metal hangers. Metal flashing runs alongside the ledger to protect against water seepage and damage. Ledgers that are rotted, improperly attached – or even missing – can ultimately lead your deck’s collapse. And that’s no good. Make sure your ledger is bolted securely against the home. For decks with absent flashing, the install is a relatively simple procedure for decks that run parallel to a home.
- Bad news beams: Your deck’s structural integrity depends upon its beams, which support the floor joists. Common deck defects include beams that are not fastened securely to their piers or that lack ample support. Beams that sag under the weight of the structure should send up red flags. Water damage, too, is always something to keep watch for, as decay will eventually compromise your deck’s good standing.
- Floor joist faux pas: While ledgers and beams support the joists, the joists – well, they support whoever is currently standing on your deck. Joists carry the weight of your guests, your furniture, your grill, your golf clubs, whatever. The ends of your deck’s joists typically sit in metal joist hangers, that must be fastened securely in place only with hanger nails. Damaged and/or waterlogged joists are bad signs, as the ends of joists have a bad habit of splitting.
- Weakened wooden deck boards: Ultimately, common deck defects are part and parcel with the quality of the wood used to build your deck. Damaged wood, cracked wood, and wood that has been compromised and decayed by water exposure can seriously put your deck – and your home – at risk for additional hazards. Speak to a professional about repairing or replacing your structure.
Did you notice? One of the common denominators with common deck defects is the damage caused by seeping rainwater and moisture.
Whether you’re building a new deck or retrofitting an existing structure, DEK Drain’s proprietary water drainage systems will help to keep your deck dry and protected.
Our systems are made using a specially formulated, highly durable rubber membrane, which is designed to withstand the elements, pest and insect damage, fluctuating temperatures, and more, while delivering dry, functional, and customizable space underneath.