Starting a fresh new job today and on first look the deck looks great. There are areas of rot around the bases of the posts, and the vinyl looks like its seen some years, but other than that upon quick inspection the deck doesn’t look too bad. The first task is to tear the deck apart to get a better look at potential problem areas.
First to come off are the railings. The actual railings themselves don’t look in too bad shape. The top rail has been fiberglassed which is rare to see. After removing all the pickets, next to come out are the posts. This is where the signs of rot become quite noticeable.
Some of the screws holding the posts to the fascia are holding okay, but most of the posts are barely holding on. I removed most of the posts by simply pushing them and the screws fell out of the fascia. Railings are supposed to be strong, this is not a safe railing. Its underneath where these posts join to the deck that the real rot problem can be seen.
One corner of the deck had such bad rot that i found a small cluster of carpenter ants eating away at the framing. Needless to say this is not good for the structure of the deck. I remove all the plywood and take all the fascia off, i notice that all the areas of rot are underneath where the posts attached. Not one single post was free of rot where it joined the deck. This shows that the railings were not properly sealed when installed, and over time just became weaker and weaker.
Tomorrow we will tackle the affected areas and bring some strength back into this deck.