Elizabethtown Home Inspection Finds: Deck Issues and Maintenance

Today’s Elizabethtown Home Inspection revealed a few items that need to be addressed this spring and may also be on your deck as well. The deck is a painted wood deck, two stories high and is bolted to the home.  The deck is actually bolted to the home correctly, which is a rare find today and the overall structure was in good condition.  However, there are a few things that stood out, so check your deck. 

1.  The were several (actually many) nails that had begun to rise from the handrail and the deck boards.  The nails overtime will come loose and the nails stick up from the boards.  These need to be reset or replaced with screws, they will actually bite you if you are not careful.  A toe will find these nails every time.

2.  The top rail had begun to splinter.  This is where everyone wants to run thier hands across and nothing worse than a splinter.  Make sure the rails where people grab are sanded and smooth.

3. The biggest issue was where the band boards joined in one corner, the boards had pulled loose.  It is a repairable issue, but if this is not corrected the band board could pull loose and cause the deck to become unsafe.

4.  This is a good time to check your handrail and spindles to make sure that they are tight and in good condition.  You do not want a person leaning on the rail taking a header so you need to make sure it is secure.

5.  Pressure wash or otherwise clean your deck.  Over the winter the deck may have had some moss or mold grow on top.  This will be very slippery when it gets wet and could cause a fall. 

Check over your deck this spring, look for loose nails, ‘splinter’ traps and make sure all of the joints are properly secured.  You want to enjoy your deck this summer, not become victim to it.

Louisville Ky Home Inspection Finds: Deck to House Connection

When we add a deck to our home, it can add to the outdoor enjoyment; but if not done correctly can lead to misery later. On my inspection Saturday the client and I saw firsthand what can happen if you build your deck directly against the house without using a flashing. When building a deck an attaching it to the homes band board, you must use a flashing to direct the water away from the siding and potentially the homes structure.

On Saturday it was raining fairly hard (actually a good thing on an inspection) and we noticed that water was pooling along the edge of the deck where it met the house. This was concerning for multiple reasons, but mostly due to the home also having wood siding. Along the edge where the deck came into contact with the house, the exterior siding boards showed wood rot, and that was only the beginning. This home was on an unfinished basement (fortunately) so we were able to observe the band board, sill plate, floor decking and the floor joists. All along this area where the house and deck meet was water damage to the homes structure. The band board and the floor decking had taken the worst of it, but all of the area had some water damage.

The repair for this can be substantial since it will involve a great deal with Statewide Demolition and then who knows what else is uncovered. Keep in mind that as you start your summer deck project that a simple metal flashing installed by Commercial Roofing Austin while you are building the deck can save you trouble later.