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Inspect your decks!

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Like an unreliable car, you can't tell if there is trouble below the hood, but early detection and repairs, it as good as new. 

Now is a great time to inspect the exterior of your home and look for anything that isn't right. If you have a deck, have a good look for signs of rot. The joists and very important the bottom of any wood support posts. Use an awl and poke for rot. Also, if you never have, check how it is fastened to the house. Check my article "Just like the movies-A deck collapse coming soon near you”.

You can see the rotten joists. There was no indication when walking, jumping or break dancing on the 2” X 6” deck. 

What else?  You can’t tell but the joists are only 2” x 6” which should be a minimum of 2” X 8”. The builder of this mess put a concrete block wall up on the far side. He did the same for the support on the perpendicular to the first block wall. You can barely see it on the left side. Unnecessary and expensive, but more importantly the solid wall reduces with airflow. Decks need ventilation for longevity.

What else? There is no protection for the top of the joists that prevents water penetration of the wood.  When this deck was built, products like that weren’t very well known.

You probably are asking what’s with the 4”x 4” joist? As best I could tell the concrete post at the other end is too high so narrower material had to be used.  

Here’s the dangerous one: The homeowner’s installed a hot tub lowered into the deck which is long gone. Had they put it on top, it would have collapsed for sure.

The best part? I don’t need to use a ladder-see my article “The most dangerous tool of all-Surprise!”