2 story home with a deck and patio area

Decks are an amazing exterior feature that can add significant beauty, curb appeal, and value to any home—as long as the construction is of superior quality and sound construction. A weak, deteriorating deck that is unsafe for use will detract from the value of your home and can be a huge liability for homeowners.

Many decks are aging, made with old, wooden materials that are falling apart after years of neglect and poor maintenance. Deck design, quality of deck installation, the durability of materials, and other external factors can affect the overall strength of your deck, the safety of your family and visitors, and your home value.

At Juranek Home Improvements, we’re committed to helping homeowners create better, more beautiful, and safer living environments with important home upgrades and renovations. Some of our most important home remodeling projects that we work on in Sioux Falls are custom deck installations, replacements, and maintenance. In this article, our team at Juranek Home Improvements will help you learn what you can do to keep your home in tip-top shape and your family safe with strong and secure deck construction.

Check the Connection Between the Deck Ledger and Your House

The ledger, which is a framing element that lies flat against the wall of your house through lag or through bolts, must be checked thoroughly on a repeat basis. If only nails are used to attach the deck ledger to the home structure, add lag bolts or ledger screws to stabilize the support and ensure that it is secured with rubber or metal flashing.

To check if it’s really secure, you might need to take off the back floorboard and siding to check. If ever you found out that it is not flashed, check the wood for signs of moisture that can lead to softness. You can tell if the wood should already be replaced if you can easily poke your screwdriver into the wood.

Check the Connection Between the Joist and the Deck Ledger

Floor joists refer to framing elements that are perpendicular to the deck ledger. Floor joists are typically supported in the front of the deck construction, by the posts. The joist and ledger are connected through joist hangers which are U-shaped metal brackets. Make sure that the joist hangers are all intact and they are not rusted. Otherwise, you may need to add the missing ones or replace the rusted parts.

Check for Sunken Footers

If the outdoor construction is heaved in the front by the posts and the ledger connection is already compromised, your deck may disconnect from the house. With this, make sure that you check for signs of sinking and replace footers under the posts and railings, if necessary.

Checking for Signs of Deterioration

Check the strength of your railings by grabbing and pulling the top railing towards your direction. You’ll know that your railings need repair when you can move them more than an inch.

You can also check for rotting in the wood at the ends of the railings by poking a screwdriver and testing the hardness of the materials. If they’re soft and pliable, they’re already in need of replacement. If the wood or other materials seem sturdy and still hardened, check the fasteners in the posts. You may want to consider adding ledger screws or lag bolts to the framing connections and railing post to boost the strength of the deck materials and support.

Your No. 1 Provider of Home Remodeling Services

Make the most out of your home deck construction by ensuring the safety and durability of your home’s exterior. At Juranek Home Improvements, we offer top-quality deck repairs, maintenance, and custom deck design services for those hoping to add value to their homes with a renovation or new deck installation.

As a leader in the home remodeling industry since 1976, our company has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and is one of the highest rated remodeling companies in Sioux Falls and the surrounding areas.

To learn more about getting started with deck installation, bathroom and kitchen remodeling, door and window replacement, a sunroom addition, and other home improvement projects, give us a call at Juranek Home Improvements today. You can also fill out this online form for an accurate, no-obligation in-home estimate and design consultation.