Here are some photos of the deck and post and pier system. Once we started we found wood rot and lots of damage. Alex is my brother that flew in from Puna to do most of the work. I'm the helper.
Most experts agree that the average life expectancy of a wood
deck is 10 to 15 years. It is estimated that there are millions of
decks in the U.S. that are beyond their useful life and may be unsafe.
In fact, the number of deck collapses has increased in recent years.
From 2001 to 2006, there have been nearly 350 reported injuries and 17
deaths as a result of deck failures.
As we work on the sections we evaluate its
construction to make sure it's structurally sound and safe. Using the
proper structural connectors and fasteners (like nails and screws) as
well as regular maintenance are the keys to a safe, strong deck.
We are using hanger and other products from Simpson.
- structural connectors, shearwalls, anchors, fastening systems, and
seismic testing for stronger and safer wood and steel construction.
1. Ledger Attachment
The ledger connection, where the deck connects to the house, is the
most common failure point on a poorly built deck. It's very important
to use lag screws (SDS) or through-bolts rather than nails to secure
your deck to the ledger board.
The floor joists intersect into a beam or ledger board and must be properly secured.
The beams must be secured to the joists that support the floor of the deck.
The post must be properly connected to the beams underneath the deck.
5. Railing Post-to-Deck Framing
People often get injured due to weak or wobbly railings on a deck. The
railing must be properly attached to the perimeter of the deck as well
as the floor joists running underneath the deck.
6.Stair Stringer-to-Deck Framing
The stair stringers that run along each of the stair steps (or treads) must be secured to the deck framing.
7. Stair Tread-to-Stringer
Each stair step (or tread) must be tied to the stair stringers.
Post bases are used to connect the post to the footing or concrete slab underneath your deck.
As you evaluate the safety and construction of your new or existing
deck, knowing these simple steps will help to ensure your deck is
structurally sound and properly maintained.
1. Check Out Your Deck
The first step in making your deck safe is knowing that it may not be.
Decks are potentially the most dangerous part of the house, according
to some experts. Factors, such as improper construction, exposure to
the elements and lack of maintenance can make your deck unsafe. It's
important to look for the warning signs: missing or loose connections,
corrosion, rot and cracks. If you are unsure about the safety of your
deck, consult with a professional such as a structural engineer or
2. Carry the Weight
For most homeowners, the deck is a popular gathering place for friends
and family. Like a house, a deck must be designed to support the weight
of people and objects placed on it as well as the forces of Mother
Nature like wind, snow and earthquakes. Knowing how weight and other
forces can affect the safety of your deck is important. There are three
types of forces that put pressure on your deck, causing strain to the
critical connections that keep it together:
Gravity – downward pressure typically caused from people standing on the deck or from snow and ice.
– a back and forth (horizontal) motion caused by people walking on the
deck and/or leaning on a railing. Wind and earthquakes can also create
– wind flows under the deck creating a lifting effect. People standing
on the overhang of the deck also creates upward pressure on the
connection that attaches the deck to the adjacent support structure
(typically your home).
3. Create a Path
A continuous load path
that is. A continuous load path is a method of construction that
creates a series of solid connections within the structure of the deck
that transfers load through its frame to the ground and adjacent
support structure (commonly your home). If your deck is built with a
continuous load path, it will be better equipped to resist the forces
that can weaken your deck.
4. Combat Corrosion
Decks and the metal connectors that keep them connected and safe are
exposed to the elements. Over time, metal connectors, screws and nails
can corrode and weaken the structure of your deck, especially if the
right product is not used. If you live in an area prone to moisture,
such as along the coast or near bodies of water, the risk of corrosion
is much higher. Chemicals in pressure-treated woods and other corrosive
elements can also damage your deck. Using connectors, screws and nails
that are made from stainless steel is the best way to combat corrosion.
When choosing connectors, take into account where you live and how
weather and the environment may affect your deck. For critical
information about corrosion and connector selection, click here
5. Maintain a Safe Deck
Just like other parts of your home, regular maintenance and inspection
are required. To prolong the life of your deck, you need to check for
things like loose boards or protruding nails. You should also keep your
deck clean from debris and depending on type of deck boards used, keep
them sealed to protect against water and sun damage.