First Aid for a Failing Deck
Where Band-Aid solutions won’t work, you might be able to save the frame and make your deck safe again.
Synopsis: The life span of most residential decks is twenty years or less. In this article, veteran carpenter Rick Arnold tunes up an existing deck for safety. He removes the old decking and railing, saving the original deck frame while taking steps to safeguard users from a future deck collapse. Arnold demonstrates efficient demolition, how to retrofit deck flashing and lateral-load anchors, and how to replace the deck’s main beam.
Recently, a friend asked me to give him a hand on a deck remodeling job. We were just going to replace the old decking and railings, but it turned out that the existing structure had the greatest number of issues I have ever seen on a deck. BandAid solutions wouldn’t work here; we had to bring the entire deck up to compliance with current codes.
The problems began at the ground. Over time, the undersize and shallow concrete…