A well-built deck will last for decades. But a deck that’s rotting or missing fasteners, or that moves when you walk on it, could be dangerous. Decks built by inexperienced do-it-yourselfers, not inspected after they were built, or even more than 10 years old (building codes were different in the past!) are vulnerable to serious problems. Annually, people are severely injured, even killed, when decks such as these fall down. This has usually happened during parties if the deck repair Lincoln NE was loaded with guests.
Now for the good thing. The majority of the fixes are quick, inexpensive and simple. Home centers and lumberyards carry the tools and materials you’ll need. Or visit strongtie.com to discover local stores that stock anchors, post bases and connectors.
In this post, we’ll show you the signs of a dangerous deck-and ways to fix the issues. If you’re still not sure whether your deck remains safe and secure, have it inspected by your local building inspector.
Fasten the ledger for the house with lag screws. Drive them fast having a corded drill and socket. Every lag screw should have a washer.
The ledger board holds the end of the deck that’s against the house. If the ledger isn’t well fastened, the deck can simply fall off the house. A building inspector we talked with said the most prevalent issue with DIY decks is ledger boards not properly fastened on the house. For a strong connection, a ledger needs 1/2-in. x 3-in. lag screws (or lag bolts when you have access from your inside to fasten the washers and nuts) driven every 16 in. This ledger board was fastened mostly with nails instead of lag screws (with no washers).
Starting at one end of your ledger board, drill two 1/4-in. pilot holes. Offset the holes and so the top isn’t aligned using the bottom hole. Then drive the lag screws (with washers) utilizing a drill and an impact socket (you’ll require a socket adapter which fits inside your drill). Don’t countersink the screws-that only weakens the ledger board.
Fill every nail hole in joist hangers, using joist hanger nails only. If you locate other kinds of nails, replace them with joist hanger nails.
Granted there are a variety of nail holes in a joist hanger-however they all need to be filled. Otherwise, the hangers can pull loose through the ledger board or rim joist. Deck builders sometimes drive several nails in to the hangers to support them set up, then forget to include the remainder later. This deck had just a single nail in a few joist hangers. In other locations, it had a bad nails. Joist hanger nails are definitely the only nails acceptable. These short, fat, galvanized nails are engineered to carry the hangers into position under heavy loads and resist corrosion from treated lumber.
Prop within the deck with temporary braces in order to take away the rotted post. Stop jacking when you hear the deck start to creak.
Deck posts that rest entirely on footings absorb water and then they rot, especially posts that aren’t pressure treated (such as this one, that is cedar). Since the post rots, it loses its strength and can’t secure the deck’s weight. Newer decks keep the concrete footings several inches above ground and employ a unique base bracket to help keep the posts dry. Replacing a rotted post is the ideal solution. Before taking off the post, be sure you have everything you need for your replacement, such as a wedge anchor.
Clear grass or stone from the bottom of the deck post. Prod along the bottom of the post with a screwdriver or even an awl. If the wood is spongy or pieces easily peel away, you’ll should replace the post. Begin by nailing 2x4s or 2x6s together for temporary braces. Place scrap wood on a lawn for the pad within 3 ft. of the post being replaced, then set a hydraulic jack over it. Cut the brace to size, set one end on the jack and put one other end underneath the rim joist. Slowly jack within the brace until it’s wedged tight. Take care not to overdo it. You’re just bracing the deck, not raising it. In the event you hear the joist boards creak, then stop. Then place a second brace on the reverse side of the post (Photo 1). (Should you don’t have jacks, you are able to rent them.) Or set your temporary braces right on the pads and drive shims in between the posts and also the rim joist.
Mark the post location on the footing, then take away the post by cutting through the fasteners that tie it to the rim joist. Utilize a metal blade inside a reciprocating saw (or knock out of the post by using a hammer). If there’s already a bolt sticking out of the footing, use it to setup a fresh post base. If not, you’ll should add a 3/8- by 4-in. wedge anchor. Do that by placing the post base on the marks where old post sat, then mark the center. Take away the post base and drill the center mark using a 3/8-in. masonry bit. Drill down 3 in., then blow the dust out of your hole.
Tap the anchor to the hole using a hammer (Photo 2). Install the post base over the anchor. While you tighten the nut about the anchor, the clip expands and wedges tight from the hole’s walls to support itself in position.
Cut a treated post to suit between your post base and the top of the the rim joist. Set the post into position and tack it on the post base with 8d or 10d galvanized nails (Photo 3). Place a level alongside the post. When it’s plumb (straight), tack it in position for the rim joist. Then use a connector and drive carriage bolts through the rim joist (see Problem 4 below).
Strengthen post connections with carriage bolts. Drill holes, knock the bolts through, then tighten a washer and nut on the reverse side.
Ideally, posts should sit directly within the beam or rim joist to support the deck. In case the posts are fastened aside of your beam or rim joist, much like the one shown here, the body weight is put in the fasteners that connect the post to the deck. This deck had only three nails from the post-a recipe for collapse. Nails alone aren’t strong enough for this job, regardless of how many you employ. For a strong connection, you want 1/2-in.-diameter galvanized carriage bolts.
Add 2 of these bolts by drilling 1/2- in. holes throughout the rim joist and post. An 8-in.-long 1/2-in. drill bit costs $10. The duration of the bolts is determined by the size of your post as well as the thickness in the rim joist (add them and get bolts a minimum of 1 in. longer than your measurement). We used 8-in. bolts, which went through two 1-1/2- in. rim joists and a 3-1/2-in. post. Tap the bolts through having a hammer, then add a washer and nut on the other side.
Stiffen a wobbly deck having a diagonal brace run from corner to corner. Drive two nails per joist.
When your deck gets a case of the shakes if you walk across it, there’s probably no reason at all for concern. Still, sometimes, the deck movement puts extra stress around the fasteners and connectors. After a while, the joists can pull from the rim joist or ledger board and twist from their vertical position, which weakens them. Fastening angle bracing within the deck will stiffen it and sign up for the sway. The braces are generally hidden from view and allow you to walk on the deck without feeling like it’s gonna fall down at any moment.
Manage a treated 2×4 diagonally from corner to corner, under the deck. Drive two 16d galvanized nails throughout the brace into each joist. If your single board won’t span the space, use two, overlapping the braces by at the very least two joists. Cut the bracing flush using the outside edge of the deck.
Pry the siding out of the house and take away the deck board that’s on the ledger to remove just how for brand new flashing.
The area round the ledger board ought to be watertight. Even small leaks can result in mold inside the walls of the house and, far worse, the home rim joist (which supports the ledger) will rot along with the ledger will fall off. Stand or crawl under the deck and look at the ledger board. Should you don’t see a metal or plastic lip over the top of the ledger board, add the flashing. Flashing was completely missing out of this deck.
To include flashing, first remove the deck board that runs alongside the house. In case the boards run diagonally, snap a chalk line 5-1/2 in. from the house, then set the blade in the circular saw for the depth in the decking boards and cut off the board ends. (Replace the cutouts following the job by using a 5-1/2-in.-wide board installed parallel to the house.)
For vinyl, wood or another lap siding, work a flat bar underneath the siding and gently take out the nails (Photo 1). Insert the flashing behind the siding (Photo 2). If you have a brick or stucco house, it is likely you won’t see any flashing for the reason that ledgers tend to be installed directly over brick or stucco.
We used vinyl flashing, but also you can use galvanized metal or aluminum flashing. At every joist location, make a small cut within the flashing lip using a utility knife so it’ll lie flat on the joists. The remainder of the lip should fit on the top side of the ledger board.
You have to have flashing beneath the bottom edge of the ledger too. But as there’s not a way to add it without taking off the ledger board, manage a bead of acrylic caulk along the foot of the ledger board to seal out water (Photo 3).
Strengthen a loose railing post with carriage bolts. Drill a set of holes throughout the post and framing. Angle the hole in order to avoid joist hangers.
Loose railings won’t cause your deck falling down, however you could tumble off deck contractor Lincoln NE. Railing posts attached just with nails will almost certainly come loose, and irrespective of how many new nails you drive into them, you won’t solve the problem. Instead, add carriage bolts. Appraise the thickness of your post and rim joist, then buy 1/2-in.- diameter galvanized carriage bolts that length plus 1 in. Go for a nut and washer for every single. Drill two 1/2-in. holes from the post and rim joist. Cancel out the holes, keeping one about 1-1/2 in. from the top of the joist and the other the identical distance from your bottom (ensure that you avoid drilling wherein a joist abuts the rim joist). Tap the carriage bolts throughout the holes, then tighten the nuts up until the bolt heads are set flush with the post.