Deck Maintenance:

Regularly checking decks for weak spots in the flooring, wood rot and unstable posts or framework should be part of deck maintenance.

Signs that your deck may need replacing:

Split or decaying wood: Check the ledger board (where the deck attaches to the house), support posts, joists under the deck, deck boards, railings and stairs for wood rot. Look closely at areas that remain damp, are exposed to water, or are in contact with fasteners.

Hint: It could be decay if you can dig into one-quarter to a half-inch of wood with a screwdriver, break off a sliver of wood without splinters, or the wood is soft and spongy. Also, inspect for insect infestation.

Flashing: The metal or plastic guard keeps water and debris from collecting and is installed where the deck and house meet is flashing. Hint: If you notice areas collecting water, replace or add flashing.