7 Simple Tips for Superior Deck Design and Safety

Decks are great outdoor entertainment and relaxation areas, especially in the summertime, but they also need regular maintenance and checkups to stay in shape. Here are some tips to keep your deck looking its best:

1. Split or Decaying Wood

Decaying wood can be a deck’s worst enemy. Thoroughly inspect the following for rot and decay:

  • Ledger board
  • Support posts
  • Joists
  • Deck boards
  • Railings and stairs

You shouldn’t be able to push a sharp object – an ice pick or a screwdriver, for example — through the wood. If you find that pieces of wood are easily peeling from the structure, you may have to replace rotting boards to save your unstable deck.

2. Weight-Bearing Board

The weight-bearing board connects the deck to your house, so it needs to be structurally sound. Check that the board is attached with ½-inch stainless or galvanized steel lag screws and bolts. If nails are attaching the deck to your home, replace them with proper hardware. If there is a gap between your house and the deck, tighten and secure the bolts.


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