A sagging or bouncing deck not only compromises its appearance but also poses safety risks. A stable and level deck is essential for enjoying outdoor activities and ensuring the longevity of the structure. If you notice your deck sagging or bouncing when walked upon, it’s important to address the issue promptly. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to fix a sagging or bouncing deck.
1. Assess the Cause
The first step in fixing a sagging or bouncing deck is to identify the underlying cause. There could be several reasons for this issue, including inadequate support beams, insufficient or deteriorating joists, or improper installation. Thoroughly inspect the deck to determine the cause of the problem before proceeding with repairs.
2. Reinforce the Support Beams
One common cause of a sagging or bouncing deck is weak or inadequate support beams. Reinforcing the support beams can help restore stability to the deck. Here’s how to do it:
- Identify the sagging areas and locate the support beams underneath.
- Install temporary supports, such as adjustable jacks or posts, to provide temporary support for the deck.
- Remove any damaged or deteriorated sections of the support beams.
- Attach sister beams alongside the existing support beams to strengthen them. Use construction adhesive and screws to secure the sister beams to the original beams.
- Gradually raise the temporary supports, gradually lifting the deck to its desired level.
- Once the deck is level, secure the sister beams to the existing beams with additional screws.
3. Strengthen the Joists
Weak or damaged joists can also contribute to a sagging or bouncing deck. Strengthening the joists will help restore the structural integrity of the deck. Follow these steps:
- Identify the sagging or weakened joists by inspecting the deck from underneath or removing deck boards if necessary.
- Measure and cut pressure-treated lumber to the same length as the weakened joists.
- Attach the reinforcement lumber alongside the weakened joists using construction adhesive and screws. Ensure that the reinforcement lumber is flush with the top of the existing joists.
- Install additional blocking between the joists to further enhance their stability.
4. Replace Damaged Deck Boards
If the sagging or bouncing is localized to specific areas of the deck, it may be necessary to replace damaged or deteriorated deck boards. Remove the affected boards and replace them with new ones, ensuring they are properly secured to the joists.
5. Secure Loose Connections
Loose connections between different components of the deck can contribute to its instability. Check for loose or missing screws, nails, or hardware, and tighten or replace them as needed. Ensure that all connections are secure and tight.
6. Regular Maintenance
Prevent future issues with your deck by implementing regular maintenance practices. Clean the deck regularly, remove debris, and inspect for any signs of damage or deterioration. Consider applying a sealant or stain to protect the wood and prevent moisture absorption.
7. Consult with a Professional
If you are unsure about the cause or extent of the deck sagging or bouncing, or if you lack the necessary tools or expertise, it’s advisable to consult with a professional deck contractor or builder. They can assess the situation, provide expert advice, and handle the repairs professionally.
By following these steps and addressing the underlying issues causing the sagging or bouncing, you can restore stability and safety to your deck, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space with peace of mind.