Common Kansas City Deck Contractor Mistakes & Fail Points

August 10, 2021
Common Kansas City Deck Contractor Mistakes & Fail Points

If you have an older deck installed on your property by a local Kansas City deck contractor, you may notice issues or problems as time passes. Sometimes, these issues can even be seen with newer decks if they were not installed properly.

Understanding the most common fail points will help you know what to watch for and when you need to call the professionals for an inspection or repairs.

Common Fail Points in Kansas City Wood Decks

Unfortunately, there are several areas and components that can fail when discussing your deck. Learn more about these common Kansas City deck contractor installation mistakes and deck fail points here.

The Deck Boards

The most common issue and easy to see is with deck material – specifically the decking boards. Some of the signs that this component of your deck needs repairs include:

  • Split or cracked wood
  • Signs of wood rot
  • Holes in the decking
  • Nails poking up through the boards (no longer flush)
  • Cupping (may cause tripping hazards)

Issues with the deck boards are the problems that most homeowners see first. That’s because these are out in the open. Some of the other issues on this list are harder to see, so you must look for problems regularly.

Improper Post or Footing Installation

Whether you opt for an open deck or a covered patio or deck, the posts and footers are essentially the “foundation” of your deck. When these fail, it may cause one portion of the deck to dip or sag. Usually, this is caused by issues like wood rote in the joist or post for that part of the deck. As wood rot develops and worsens, the deck will continue to come apart and settle, causing even more issues.

Another issue results to board spacing. This is particularly problematic with two-story decks but can occur in any structure. When decks were built 15 to 20 years ago, there was no spacing left between the boards and your house. This spacing is necessary to let the boards breathe. As time passes, the deck boards, siding on your house, or structural wood behind the siding may begin to rot and pull away. If this happens, the structure of your deck is compromised, and the integrity of your house is impacted.

One way to help prevent this is by making sure you clear any leaf or debris buildup against the side of your house. You want to ensure moisture is not present and keep your deck as dry as possible.

The Deck Steps

Another common point of failure with decks is the steps. Sometimes, older steps were installed using just two or three stringers, which means they are set further apart. This can lead to splits and cracks and cause the entire step structure to sag or become unsteady.

Also, if the base of the steps was not installed on something solid, such as concrete or a paver, they may begin to settle. This is commonly seen with steps installed on dirt or mud.

The Deck Posts

Your deck posts have a big job. They support the entire deck and everything you put on it – including people. Decks that are 15 to 20 years old likely have posts that were buried in concrete. At the time, this was thought to be “standard practice.” Unfortunately, this can lead to issues. As time passes, the posts will naturally begin to rot, causing problems with the deck that need to be repaired.

Don’t Wait to Call an Expert Kansas City Deck Contractor

If you notice any of the above issues with your deck, don’t wait to call for an inspection and repairs. The more time that passes, the worse the issues are going to become. Modern techniques can restore your deck’s integrity and give you many more years of use and enjoyment.

Schedule a free consultation with an expert Kansas City deck contractor at Heartland Decks today.