- Look for splitting wood or insect holes, especially where the deck attaches to the house, support posts, and joists under the deck.
- Use a screwdriver or ice pick to test areas exposed to water and parts of your deck that are constantly damp. If the ice pick can penetrate the wood or the wood is soft, that’s a clue the wood is decaying.
- Is the flashing that keeps water from collecting between the house and the deck still doing its job? If not, replace it.
- How do the nails, screws, or anchors look? Tighten loose screws, replace rusty ones, and pound back in nails that have popped up.
- Test the strength of railings and banisters.