A porch or deck provides a great space to enjoy being outside. When yours was originally constructed, it was built to code to ensure your family’s safety. After many years of harsh Canadian weather, it could be in need of an update. Keep an eye out for these common warning.
1. Rotting or Cracking Deck Boards
One of the first signs you will notice are your deck boards. They can become rotten or cracked from being exposed to the elements over time (think moisture, heat, and humidity). If you notice any signs of mildew, discolouration, or soft spots, then it’s a good indicator that your boards are rotted.
Rotten or cracked boards can become a hazard if not tended to. If you notice only some boards are weakened, then you can simply replace those boards instead of your entire deck. A pro will let you know the best solution to provide a safe and secure base.
2. Loose Railings
If you notice while climbing the stairs, or leaning over the railing that it appears to be wobbly in any way, then it’s time for an update. Railings on a porch or deck provide safety between you and the ground below, and having a faulty railing can increase the risk of injury. Repairing this damage will help to maintain the safety of your porch.
3. Roof Dips and Stains
If your porch has a roof and you notice it has dips in it or stains underneath it, this can be a sign of water damage. If this damage is left untreated, it can eventually affect the whole structure of the roof. The longer the water sits there, the more prone to rotting the wood becomes, which can lead to the structure collapsing.
4. Weak Support System
Porches and decks are commonly constructed using two support systems. The first being your house and the second being support posts. Utilizing an already existing structure, such as your home, provides strong support to the porch. Additional beams or posts are needed to support the structure as it gets further from the home.
Over time, the connection to your home can become unstable, and even completely separate. If the connection is in the slightest bit compromised, it poses the threat of the whole structure collapsing. If you notice any gaps or loose bolts in-between the porch and your home, then have it repaired immediately.
The posts that your porch is supported by can become rotten over time, so it’s important to regularly check them for soft or cracked wood. Depending on when your porch was built, the ground below may have caused the posts to shift or sink further into the ground. This can cause an imbalance in the structure which can lead to other structural issues or added stress on certain posts. If you notice these signs, have the structure inspected and if needed, repaired by a pro.
Your porch or deck can be a heavily used space in your home, so be sure to routinely check up on it. Doing so will not only provide additional comfort to the space, but will also help you feel confident using the structure. After all, It is meant to be a relaxing space!