You could just think its wear and tear, but it could be more than you think; make sure you get clued up on all the facts!
How to spot signs of an unsafe deck
Unsafe decking can turn a nice family get together into an afternoon trip to A&E if your deck has become unsafe. Knowing how to spot the warning signs of a dodgy deck can be tremendously important.
That’s why we are here to help! Here are two easy ways to spot an unsafe deck and prevent any decking disasters before they occur.
When a deck is built, metal screws or nails will have been used to secure everything together – whether you’ve got a wood, steel, aluminium or composite subframe, it’s likely that iron nails will be holding it all together.
It’s not always a problem for the subframe; the fact that screws and nails are put in sideways means that no water will pool on these bits so they’ll last longer. The problems arise when you’ve got screws or nails holding the deck boards down – the water pooling on the boards and getting into the screw holes, the movement when the boards flex, the rotting wood… all of this contributes to an unsafe situation and a weak deck. When the metal starts to flake, it can get sharp and cut feet.
This is why we use hidden FitClips on Fitrite decks. The clips are hidden underneath and between the boards, securing them without ruining the face of the deck, and with the added bonus of not creating any dangerous situations.
Rotting wood can see your once beautiful deck become an accident waiting to happen.
When wooden deck boards rot it’s not always immediately obvious. This is because the wood grain absorbs water deep into the board, and the underside of the board which gets less light and ventilation harbours the bacteria that break down the wood. Look out for the tell-tale signs that your boards are starting to rot:
- Softness – Is your deck more springy? Especially between the joists? It’s probably on it’s last legs!
- Sound – Knock on a hard surface, like a dining table. That’s what your deck should sound like when you knock on it. Does it sound like there’s a towel underneath it when you knock on it? It’s probably not as hard as it should be.
- Smell – Do your deck boards smell sweet? You may need to get quite close (at which point you might be able to see the rot) but if there’s a faint, sweet smell coming from the boards, they could be rotting.
Watch when wet
A wooden deck can become very slippery, very quickly but in fact, it’s not the actual rain alone that makes the deck slippery. The slip factor is actually down to a form of fungus and mold that grows on the wood when it’s wet. If you’ve ever slipped on seaweed when visiting the beach, it’s the same sort of effect.
Help mitigate against this by using a pressure hose to blast off anything green from the surface of your deck. Or, you know, get a Fitrite deck.
Why Choose Fitrite?
To make sure that your deck is safe it may be an idea to think about having a Fitrite deck rather than the traditional wooden deck. A Fitrite deckboard is 100% durable and comes with a 10-year warranty.
Unlike wood decks, our deckboards are also extremely low maintenance and require no varnishing, painting or staining. The deckboards are extremely easy to clean, all it takes is a jet wash and you’re ready to go.
With our deckboards being slip resistant even in the wet, you are also protected from any nasty trips or falls. The expert fitters at Fitrite will also make sure that your deck is fitted properly, giving you peace of mind for many years to come!