Deck Inspection Checklist – What Professionals Look For

One of the most enjoyed parts of your home is the one that can be the most overlooked. That is the deck. Consider the birthday parties where family and friends hang out. Remember all the laughter? Now, think of all the foot traffic year after year pounding on the boards and bodies leaning on the railing. Eventually, the materials holding your outdoor haven together will wear down from use and weather. When that happens, tragedy can strike from a collapsed deck. The latest tragedy occurred in New Jersey, with 22 people injured in a deck collapse incident.

Keep the fun and good times going by having your deck regularly inspected by the specialists at Schafer Construction. We go over all parts to ensure that fasteners are still good, boards are tight, and posts are secure. As the Berkeley area’s preferred deck builder, we work with you to keep your structure safe and in good repair.

What Professionals Look at When Inspecting Your Deck

It helps the life of your outdoor living space when you keep an eye out for loose or decaying boards and other signs of wear. You may not know every area you check out. That’s where a professional can step in and make sure your structure get the TLC it deserves. Here are the areas we will check utilizing the North American Deck & Railing Association (NADRA) checklist:

  1. Ledger Connection: We will review the ledger to see if it is attached to an acceptable wood rim joist with the correct fasteners and if there are any visible signs of rust.
  2. Posts and Footings: We inspect the foundation type for the footings and the size of the posts. Things we will look for include signs of rot or cracks and rust or corrosion. We will also check out the post-to-concrete connection.
  3. Post-to-Beam Connection: We will note the post and beam size while looking for rot or cracks, especially if the post is notched. We look at the girders if any, and any built-up lumbers to ensure all are fastened together.
  4. Joists and Joist Connections: Various parts of the joists will be inspected for rust or corrosion of the nails and hangers. We look at the nails to see if the correct ones were installed in the hangers. We also look for a connection where the joist bears weight on top of the beam.
  5. Stairs: Items we will view include the gap between the risers and if there is proper support for the stringers. There are different requirements for solid versus notched stringers, which we will check to see that each type is handled correctly.
  6. Deck Boards: Each type of decking board is handled differently. We look for rotting wood or extended gaps in composite boards. If there is a hidden fastener system, we look at the support it has.
  7. Handrail Assemblies and Guards: Certain heights and gaps are required for the safety of the users. We look for gaps of more than 4 inches and if the handrail is graspable. As in other areas, we look for signs of corrosion, rust, or rot.
  8. Miscellaneous: A few other areas we will inspect include any additional signs of rot or rust, adequately seated fasteners, correctly filled connector holes, and other items on the NADRA checklist.

Call in the Professionals to Inspect Your Deck – and Enjoy Peace of Mind

Make sure everyone is safe when you have your deck inspected by the team at Schafer Construction. We help ensure the integrity of the structure is sound. As an expert deck builder, we understand the implications of decaying and loose boards. For over 30 years, we have worked with Berkley homeowners to build bridge driveways, elevated decks, and other areas of construction. We are here to make your deck the best it can be.

Call us today at 510-339-9100 or contact us online to see why homeowners across Berkeley and the San Francisco Bay Area rely on Schafer Construction for their deck building and repair needs.


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