Warning: Weak decks can bring down a party

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Spring is almost here! That means warm weather, fresh spring colors, and outdoor parties. But before...

Spring is almost here! That means warm weather, fresh spring colors, and outdoor parties. But before you invite your friends and family over, did you remember to inspect the deck? To keep the party going and your guests safe, make sure you check your deck for rotted floor boards and weak railings.

Common deck problems

Some key deck areas to check for signs of decay include:

  • Supports and foundation
  • Decking floor boards
  • Steps and risers
  • Deck rails

While it's important to check everything on your deck for stability, some areas of decks are more likely to decay than others. To find the most likely problem spots, look at your deck when it's wet. Any place where water stands is most likely to need repairs. Pooled water eventually soaks into porous deck boards when the waterproof coating wears off, and saturation causes the boards to decay more quickly.

Preventing deck problems

After replacing weakened boards, it's a good idea to apply a couple coats of waterproofing to prevent premature repairs in the future.

Sand the new boards with medium-grit sandpaper first, then with fine-grit paper. Sanding reduces the likelihood of splinters in bare feet when moving around on freshly repaired decks. Then, coat the boards with waterproof weather treatment. You can choose between clear waterproof application or stains to match your home's exterior. Apply at least two coats of the deck treatment you choose, allowing the first one to dry before applying the second one. Reapply waterproofing at least once a year.

You don't have to do it yourself, though. If you check your deck and find it needs some repair work before entertaining guests, discuss prices and options with your Atlanta contractor.

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