Thursday, May 11, 2006

Synthetic or Wood, How's Your Deck?

It's Bridget Otto Thursday and today Bridget writes about outside decking in a two part article. In the first part, she writes about choosing decking, wood or synthetic?
Synthetic decking, once the ugly stepchild that looked like the plastic used to make it, has grown up and is becoming a popular deck-building material.
One big advantage of synthetic over wood is maintainance
Although not zero maintenance, synthetic decking is very low maintenance -- especially when compared with a cedar deck that needs to be stripped and sealed yearly.
The second part of the article concerns inspecting your existing deck for safety.
Properly built and maintained, a deck will provide years of enjoyment. But as the years go by, weather and use can erode the deck's structural integrity.
Then Bridget goes on to tell us some things to look for that may tell us if we need to replace our deck or make repairs.

Clear debris. Debris acts like a sponge.... Be especially sure that there is no debris buildup where the deck meets the house.

Check for dry rot. Test wood for softness by poking it with a nail or a screwdriver.

Check the ledger board where the deck is bolted to the frame of the house. Bolts should be staggered one up and one down.

Make sure all fasteners are secure by giving railings and balusters a good shake.

Check that support posts are secure in their footings.

Bridget A. Otto can be reached at

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

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