Home Renovations

Hometap Tip: Check Your Deck

Max Campion

October 02, 2018

Take a weekend annually to focus on deck problems when they’re small (like checking and maintaining your deck’s lumber and fastenings) and you’ll preserve the integrity and longevity of your entire deck—and save up to $2,500 in new treated lumber boards. It’ll cost you much less time and money to address minor repairs now, so you don’t have to do a full replacement later.

What to Do

Check your deck to see if any repairs are needed.

What You Need

The basics:

  • Flathead screwdriver to test cracks and screws
  • Caulk to seal minor cracks
  • Wood glue or heavy adhesive to secure loose boards or balusters
  • Replacement bolts and screws
  • Gloves
  • Trash bags

The works:

  • Varnish
  • Paint

How to Do It

Take a walk on and around your deck, looking for both structural and minor problems that need attention. You’ll want to look for damaged wood (e.g., cracks, decay, holes, or rot), as well as loose hardware and/or signs of pests.

You’ll also want to check the ledger (e.g., the material that attaches the deck to your house) and your deck’s connecting/support beams for any signs of rust or wear. Ensure that there are no gaps between the ledger and the house itself, and confirm all screws are solid and tightly attached. See if any support beams need new reinforcements. Confirm all rails, balusters, and steps are sturdy and secure.

Finally, consider aesthetics: Clear accumulated leaves, branches, and dirt on and around the deck, and decide whether to add new finish or a fresh coat of paint.

Once you know the scope of your deck repairs, you can determine whether to go DIY or call in a professional.

Max Campion

is a

Investment Manager

at Hometap.