The importance of deck inspection cannot be overstated. A well-constructed deck is a valuable asset to any home, and regular deck maintenance and a deck inspection can help ensure its longevity and find issues that may have been missed on the final inspection. Not only will this improve the value of your home, but it will also provide a safe place for your family and friends to gather. One of the main reasons for deck collapses is improper maintenance. This includes things like not regularly checking for signs of rot or damage, not properly attaching the ledger boards, rim joists and not securing the railings and stairs. Other causes of deck collapses can include severe weather conditions or faulty construction and missing hardware connections.
There are a few key elements to any deck that should be inspected on a regular basis: floor joists, ledgers, deck frame, rim joist and railings. Island Home Inspectors will examine These the structural components of your deck, dock or bulkhead, and if they are not in good condition, the rest of the deck is at risk. We use the deck inspection checklist to be certain we find any safety issues during the inspection. If the deck inspection finds any problems with your deck, dock, bulkhead or deck surface, it is important to take action to repair the damage as soon as possible in order to prevent further deterioration of your deck and to be certain you do not have an unsafe deck. Items we check for are:
1) Check for rot or damage to the wood. This includes warped boards, cracked boards, or boards with excessive wear. These areas will need to be repaired or replaced in order to maintain the structural integrity of the deck.
2) Check the fasteners (nails, screws, bolts) to make sure they are tight and not rusted. Loose or damaged fasteners can cause the deck to become unstable.
3) Inspect the railing and deck stairs to make sure they are safe and secure. Look for loose rails, damaged treads, or any other hazards. All railings on your deck must meet local building code requirements. This usually means that they must be at least 36 inches high and have no more than a 4-inch gap between the rails. We check to make sure that all railings are securely attached and do not wobble.
4) Check for signs of insect damage. Wood-destroying organisms can weaken the deck and make it unsafe. Inspect for floor joist and ledger damage, as well as railings. We also look for any wood to soil contact which is common in residential decks.
5) Make sure the deck ledger board (the board that attaches the deck to the house) is secure. A loose ledger board can cause the entire deck to collapse. Your ledger is the board that is attached to your house. If this isn’t properly secured, your entire deck could collapse. We heck to make sure that all screws or bolts attaching it to your home are the correct type and in place and not rusted.
6) We check the floor joists and all deck framing to make sure the deck builders used pressure treated wood, have the proper joist hangers, and that it would pass inspection. The floor joist is what supports your deck flooring. The deck framing must be checked for signs of rot or insect infestation. If they are not in good shape, they need to be replaced.
7) Deck posts are the backbone to properly constructed deck. We will check that the proper sized deck posts were used and that they are spaced out correctly and will complete a footing inspection. These are just some of the things we look for during a deck inspection.
It is important to have your deck, dock or bulkhead inspected regularly to ensure the safety of you, your family and guests. The process of inspecting docks and bulkheads is essentially the same as a deck inspection. We have experience building and inspecting all three. If you are in St. Augustine, Jacksonville and surrounding areas, and would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today. We look forward to helping you keep your deck in top condition!
There are a few things you can do to check if a deck, dock or bulkhead is safe. First, we inspect for any signs of rot or damage. If you see any, make sure to repair them right away. Next, check the deck's railings and stairs to make sure they are secure and there are no loose boards that could be a trip hazard. Finally, check the deck ledger board to make sure it is properly attached to the house and is structurally sound. There are a few main reasons why decks fail. The first is improper maintenance, which can include things like not regularly checking for signs of rot or damage, not properly attaching the ledger board, and not securing the railings and stairs. Other causes of deck failures can include severe weather conditions or faulty construction.
There are a few signs that you may need to replace your deck, dock or bulkhead. Weather it is a free standing deck or dock or attached to the house with deck ledgers our primary concern is that deck collapse and failure. Every year more than 6000 people are injured from deck collapse. First, if you see any signs of rot or damage, it is important to repair them right away. If the damage is severe, you may need to replace the entire structure. Second, if the railings and stairs are not secure, or there are loose boards that could be a trip hazard, you may need to replace the entire structure. Finally, if the ledger board is not properly attached to the house or is structurally unsound, you may need to replace the deck.
To inspect a ledger board for a deck, you will want to check for any signs of rot or damage. You will also want to make sure the ledger board is properly attached to the house with the correct fasteners and is structurally sound. Island Home Inspectors may also look at flashings, waterproofing and fasteners or cracks in the ledger board that could cause problems.
Island Home Inspectors of North Florida, LLC
205 A Street, Saint Augustine, Florida 32080, United States
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