Home Inspections St. Paul | Deck Inspection (651) 368-8209

deck inspection

In the United States alone there are estimated to be 40 million decks in use that were built 20-plus years ago, according to the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA). Building codes, construction methods, and decking materials have changed considerably in those 20 years. Add in the fact that decks are outdoor structures constantly at the mercy of rain, sun, snow, and extreme temperature fluctuations, and it’s easy to see why an annual deck inspection is a smart idea.

Water damage, insect infestation, wood rot, and separation of the house and deck ledger board aren’t always visible to the untrained eye. Our certified inspector will inspect your deck in these areas:

  1. Wood- The inspector will check several areas of your deck to ensure the wood is still sound. Specifically, the ledger board, support posts and joists beneath the deck, deck floor boards, railings and stairs. They will look for small holes in the wood or evidence of sawdust/wood dust and examine any areas that are regularly exposed to water, tend to remain damp, or are in regular contact with fasteners. If the inspector can easily penetrate the wood or if the wood is soft and spongy, you might have wood decay.
  2. Flashing- Proper installation of ledger board flashing is critical. Flashing works to prevent moisture and debris from collecting between the house and the ledger board. The inspector will ensure that your flashing is installed behind the siding and over the top of the ledger board and that the flashing is running the entire length of the ledger board and be free of any nail or screw holes.
  3. Fasteners- If the deck is made out of wood, the inspector will check for popped nails, loose screws and rusted or corroded fasteners, as the corrosion can deteriorate any surrounding wood.
  4. Railings- Deck railing is as much as safety issue as a style statement. In fact, more injuries result from rail failure than complete deck collapse. The inspector will push on the railing to see if there is any “give” in anyway and ensure the railing is in compliance with building codes.
  5. Electrical–  The inspector will check all electrical outlets, appliances and features must be code-compliant, childproof (if you have children or young visitors), and in good condition and if electrical cords are present on the deck, ensure they do not present a tripping hazard.

Having the deck inspected on your home is just as important as any other areas of your home and can pose great risk if not kept up to par. Your deck should be inspected annually and before buying or selling your home. Give us a call today!

Home Inspections St. Paul | Home Inspector (651) 368-8209