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Understanding Decks

Photo of deteriorating deck
Deck Condition

Due to their greater exposure to the elements, decks, porches, and balconies are more susceptible to deterioration compared to other areas of a home.

Inspect all porch, deck, and balcony supports thoroughly to identify any loose or deteriorated components. The provided image displays an aged and curling deck board, which is improperly installed in a straight line. Instead, the boards should be staggered.

Ensure that masonry or concrete piers are both plumb and stable. Check the structural connections between the supports and the building to confirm that they are secure and shielded against corrosion and decay. Pay attention to any signs of deflection or deterioration on the porch and deck floors.

When the porch floor or deck is at a similar level to the interior floor, be vigilant for indications of water infiltration at the door sill. The porch floor or deck should ideally have a slight slope to direct water away from the exterior wall. The inspection image below illustrates a separation in the top railing board of the deck.

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