A well-built deck can last for decades. But a deck that’s rotting or missing fasteners, or that moves if you walk on it, may be dangerous. Decks built by inexperienced do-it-yourselfers, not inspected once they were built, or maybe more than 15 years old (building codes were different in the past!) are prone to serious problems. Each and every year, folks are severely injured, even killed, when decks such as these fall down. It has usually happened during parties if the deck repair Lincoln NE was full of guests.
Now for the good thing. Many of the fixes are quick, inexpensive and easy. Home centers and lumberyards carry the various tools and materials you’ll need. Or visit strongtie.com to get local stores that stock anchors, post bases and connectors.
On this page, we’ll explain to you the signs of any dangerous deck-and ways to fix the down sides. If you’re still not sure whether your deck is protected, already have it inspected by your local building inspector.
Fasten the ledger to the house with lag screws. Drive them fast by using a corded drill and socket. Every lag screw must have a washer.
The ledger board holds in the end of your deck that’s from the house. In case the ledger isn’t well fastened, the deck can simply fall from the house. A building inspector we talked with said the most typical issue with DIY decks is ledger boards not properly fastened to the house. To get a strong connection, a ledger needs 1/2-in. x 3-in. lag screws (or lag bolts in case you have access through the inside to fasten the washers and nuts) driven every 16 in. This ledger board was fastened mostly with nails rather than lag screws (without any washers).
Starting at one end in the ledger board, drill two 1/4-in. pilot holes. Cancel out the holes and so the top isn’t aligned with all the bottom hole. Then drive the lag screws (with washers) using a drill and an impact socket (you’ll need a socket adapter which fits with 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 find other nails, replace these with joist hanger nails.
Granted there are plenty of nail holes in a joist hanger-nevertheless they all have to be filled. Otherwise, the hangers can pull loose from your ledger board or rim joist. Deck builders sometimes drive several nails in the hangers to keep them set up, then forget to include others later. This deck had merely a single nail in a few joist hangers. In other places, it had the wrong nails. Joist hanger nails would be the only nails acceptable. These short, fat, galvanized nails are specially designed to keep the hangers into position under heavy loads and resist corrosion from treated lumber.
Prop within the deck with temporary braces so you can take away the rotted post. Stop jacking whenever you hear the deck start to creak.
Deck posts that rest right on footings absorb water and then they rot, especially posts that aren’t pressure treated (such as this one, which can be cedar). As the post rots, it loses its strength and can’t support the deck’s weight. Newer decks retain the concrete footings a few inches above ground and utilize a unique base bracket to help keep the posts dry. Replacing a rotted post is the best solution. Before taking out the post, make sure you have everything that you need to the replacement, together with a wedge anchor.
Clear grass or stone from the bottom from the deck post. Prod along the base of the post using a screwdriver or even an awl. In the event the wood is spongy or pieces easily peel away, you’ll need to replace the post. Start with nailing 2x4s or 2x6s together for temporary braces. Place scrap wood on the ground for the pad within 3 ft. of your post being replaced, then set a hydraulic jack over it. Cut the brace to size, set one end in the jack and place another end under the rim joist. Slowly jack the brace until it’s wedged tight. Take care not to overdo it. You’re just bracing the deck, not raising it. Should you hear the joist boards creak, then stop. Then place a 2nd brace on the other side from the post (Photo 1). (If you don’t have jacks, it is possible to rent them.) Or set your temporary braces right on the pads and drive shims involving the posts as well as the rim joist.
Mark the post location around the footing, then get rid of the post by cutting throughout the fasteners that tie it for the rim joist. Make use of a metal blade within a reciprocating saw (or knock the post with a hammer). If there’s already a bolt sticking out from the footing, make use of it to put in a fresh post base. Or else, you’ll have to put in a 3/8- by 4-in. wedge anchor. Do this by placing the post base with the marks where old post sat, then mark the center. Eliminate the post base and drill the center mark by using a 3/8-in. masonry bit. Drill down 3 in., then blow the dust from the hole.
Tap the anchor in to the hole with a hammer (Photo 2). Install the post base across the anchor. When you tighten the nut about the anchor, the clip expands and wedges tight up against the hole’s walls to hold itself in place.
Cut a treated post to put involving the post base and the top of the rim joist. Set the post in place and tack it to the post base with 8d or 10d galvanized nails (Photo 3). Place a level alongside the post. When it’s plumb (straight), tack it set up towards the rim joist. Then use a connector and drive carriage bolts from 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 other side.
Ideally, posts should sit directly beneath the beam or rim joist to support the deck. In case the posts are fastened to the side in the beam or rim joist, just like the one shown here, the load is put around the fasteners that connect the post to the deck. This deck had only three nails in the post-a recipe for collapse. Nails alone aren’t strong enough for this particular job, regardless how many you use. For any strong connection, you need 1/2-in.-diameter galvanized carriage bolts.
Add a pair 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 length of the bolts depends on how big your post as well as the thickness from the rim joist (add them and purchase bolts at the very least 1 in. beyond your measurement). We used 8-in. bolts, which experienced two 1-1/2- in. rim joists and a 3-1/2-in. post. Tap the bolts through using a hammer, then include a washer and nut on the opposite side.
Stiffen a wobbly deck using a diagonal brace run from corner to corner. Drive two nails per joist.
When your deck turns into a case from the shakes once you walk across it, there’s probably no reason for concern. Still, sometimes, the deck movement puts extra stress about the fasteners and connectors. With time, the joists can pull out of the rim joist or ledger board and twist out of their vertical position, which weakens them. Fastening angle bracing within the deck will stiffen it and remove the sway. The braces are mostly hidden from view and let you walk on your own deck without feeling like it’s going to fall down at any moment.
Run a treated 2×4 diagonally from corner to corner, underneath the deck. Drive two 16d galvanized nails with the brace into each joist. If your single board won’t span the space, use two, overlapping the braces by no less than two joists. Cut the bracing flush using the outside side of the deck.
Pry the siding out of the house and remove the deck board that’s within the ledger to clear the way for brand new flashing.
The spot throughout the ledger board ought to be watertight. Even small leaks can lead to mold within the walls of your home and, far worse, the home rim joist (which supports the ledger) will rot along with the ledger will fall off. Stand or crawl beneath the deck and look at the ledger board. When you don’t notice a metal or plastic lip over the top of the the ledger board, add the flashing. Flashing was completely missing out of this deck.
To add flashing, first get rid of the deck board that runs alongside the home. In the event the boards run diagonally, snap a chalk line 5-1/2 in. from the house, then set the blade inside a circular saw for the depth of your decking boards and shut down the board ends. (Replace the cutouts at the end of the work by using a 5-1/2-in.-wide board installed parallel on the house.)
For vinyl, wood or another lap siding, work a flat bar within the siding and gently pull out the nails (Photo 1). Insert the flashing behind the siding (Photo 2). In case you have a brick or stucco house, it is likely you won’t see any flashing as the ledgers are usually installed directly over brick or stucco.
We used vinyl flashing, but you may also use galvanized metal or aluminum flashing. At each joist location, come up with a small cut from the flashing lip with a utility knife so it’ll lie flat on the joists. The rest of the lip should fit over the top edge of the ledger board.
You ought to have flashing underneath the bottom side of the ledger too. But because there’s not a way to add it without eliminating the ledger board, run 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 couple of holes throughout the post and framing. Angle the hole to avoid joist hangers.
Loose railings won’t lead to your deck falling down, however you could tumble off deck contractor Lincoln NE. Railing posts attached only with nails are bound to come loose, and regardless how many new nails you drive into them, you won’t solve the issue. Instead, add carriage bolts. Appraise the thickness in the 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 each and every. Drill two 1/2-in. holes through the post and rim joist. Offset the holes, keeping one about 1-1/2 in. from the top of the joist along with the other the same distance in the bottom (make sure you avoid drilling where a joist abuts the rim joist). Tap the carriage bolts through the holes, then tighten the nuts till the bolt heads are set flush with all the post.