Reinforcing or Replacing Components of the Substructure
Deck repairs come in all shapes and sizes, but most of them can be categorized into seven different levels:
- Adding Features
- Replacing Handrails
- Replacing Handrail & Deck Boards
- Reinforce and/or Replacing Components of the Substructure
- Complete Rebuild
- Complete Rebuild and Design Changes
The previous blog post in this series went into detail about replacing a deck’s handrails and deck boards. In this post, we dig a little deeper (literally) to look at reinforcing and/or replacing components of the deck’s substructure.
Most homeowners only come in contact with the surface area of their deck: the deck boards, handrails, and stairs. However, there’s an entire substructure beneath these surface components that are responsible for holding up the deck and all the people and objects on it.
A deck’s substructure includes:
- Ledger Board: connects the deck to the side of the house
- Floor Joists: stabilizes and supports the deck boards
- Solid Blocking: keeps the joists from twisting under heavy weight
- Support Beam: transfers weight from the floor joists to the deck’s posts
- Rim Joists: fastens to the end of the joists
In some instances, one or more components of a deck’s substructure can come loose or begin to break down. This could cause the deck to become unstable or even break away from the house. The same issues that can wear out deck floor and handrails – fungus, termites, sun damage, etc… – can break down the substructure as well.
In most cases, problems with a deck’s substructure can be reinforced or repaired without having to rebuild the deck. For instance, if a ledger board is coming loose, it might just need a new bolt or some reinforcement to adhere it safety to the house. Worn out floor joists and support beams can also be replaced without breaking down the deck.
I recommend that unless you are a very savvy handyman (or handywoman), that you have a professional wood repair specialist look at any problems related to the substructure of your deck. These are not components you want to try to fix if you aren’t 100% sure of what you are doing.
If your deck feels unstable, or you notice issues with any component of your substructure, we at Best Rate Repair would be happy to take a look for free and give you an honest, plain-English assessment if repairs are needed. Give us a call at (619) 229-0116 or contact us through our website.