As you probably already know, doing some routine maintenance and inspection is crucial when you have a deck. You want to make sure that your beautiful deck has all the safety conditions in place so that you, your family, and friends can feel secure and be able to relax.
However, most home owners tend to forget about two crucial components of their decks – the railings and the stairs.
Railings are usually involved when there is an injury on your deck. They are, in fact, the second most common cause of accidents.
When you are giving a party, you might already have noticed that some of your guests enjoy leaning on railings while they are chatting. However, if your railings aren’t in good conditions, your guests may suffer a huge fall. So, you want to make sure that they are well-secured by carefully inspecting them.
One of the things that you might be wondering is that with so many different types of railings, how can you see if they are in good shape? Even though you can have glass, cables, balusters, or wire mesh railings, they all have one thing in common – they all came in with manufacturer’s instructions. So, make sure that you grab your instructions and follow what it says.
One of the things that you should know is that your major potential problems may be on the fasteners that are used to attach railing posts to the deck. The truth is that that hardware can loosen up or rust. So, when looking in this particular area, make sure that you check for wood rot and fastener corrosion.
The stairs are one of the areas of your deck that will need to support more foot traffic. Either to go to your deck or to go from the deck to your home, everyone needs to use the stairs. Plus, when you have a large object, you sometimes use the back door of your home to be easy to transport it. So, this means more weight and more pressure on the stairs.
When doing an inspection to your stairs, there are a couple of things that you need to do. The first thing you should do is to start with the stringers. These are very important since they are the major support platform that you have when you walk. When they are overcut, they are more subjected to rot as well as they are more likely to suffer from severe structural weakness.
The second place that you need to carefully inspect is the area where the stairs attach to the deck. No matter what material you used to build the stairs, you need to know that specialized material is necessary to support heavy loads. So, make sure that this hardware is in good conditions and that there aren’t any signs of corrosion or any loose nails.
Last but not least, make sure that you check for rot and cracks in the steps. In case you notice there are any protruding screws or nails, make sure to refasten them.