A house with a balcony is bound to have a happy bunch of memories one can look back upon. Balconies can offer it all, whether it be a Sunday family barbeque or a quiet Monday morning with a cup of coffee. But just like any other part of a house, a balcony deck requires extensive care and maintenance to ensure its safety.
It is common for house owners to skip balcony decks when it comes to home maintenance, but this can cause rot and damage to encroach over your deck. Although you can call on decking contractors for a professional opinion, a few tips and tricks can help you take care of your deck.
Let’s look into effective tools and techniques to help you care for your balcony deck.
Dealing With Rotting Posts
Fix temporary posts on either side of your rotting post by using a hydraulic jack placed firmly on flat ground. Jack up the deck’ frame slowly to remove the post and install a new one. Make sure to go with a post base to prevent rot.
Missing Hanger Nails
You do not necessarily have to call on professionals to deal with missing hanger nails. All you need to do is look at the joist hangers after removing the deck boards. You will be able to see empty holes in place of missing nails. Hammer 1 ½ inch nails into the ledger boards and 3-inch nails into the joists at a 45-degree angle. The exact process is necessary if the nails are not missing but are rusty.
Keeping rot away from your balcony deck joists is hard but not impossible. You can ensure the robustness of your deck’s structure by attaching joist tape on joists before you fasten deck boards on, as this will build up a guard around your deck screws. Joist tape keeps water out of places where it shouldn’t be, preventing rot formation.
A deck taller than 30 inches requires a railing, may it be composite, wood, or aluminum. According to building regulations, the railing should withstand around 200lb of force. Calculating a railing’s for-handling capacity can be tricky, so it is best to go for the highest quality railings and get them installed by a professional.
Go From Outside In When Working
There are a number of things you can DIY when renovating your deck, but it is crucial to start from the outside and gradually work your way in. If you are installing your decking yourself, this tip will ensure that the best and widest planks go on the peripheries of your house and the relatively smaller ones are hidden on the inside.
Pin In The Middle
If you live in a region with drastic weather changes, it is essential to consider the expansion and contraction of composite decking. One of the best and most straightforward ways of combating such changes is to install a toe-screw in each deck board present in the center-most joist. If your deck board increases in size by ¼ inches, it will expand by ⅛ inches in each direction, thereby minimizing differences.
Avoid Butt Joints
Deck boards are typically 24 feet long, and a sensible option is to cut deck boards in a way that spans your entire deck. Ensuring long deck boards instead of cut-up ones prevents butt joints and is excellent for a balcony in the long run.
A great trick to get a seamless look on your deck is to go for hidden fasteners. Although the decking brand you choose determines the kind of fasteners installed on your deck, it is almost always a better option to select hidden fasteners over screw-from-the-top ones. The deck board spacing in invisible systems is also perfect, which is why it is worth the extra cost.
Tools For Balcony Deck and Repair
Tools for Layout and Measuring
- Chalk lines and tape measures
- Framing and speed squares
Tools For General Repair and Excavation
- Pipe and squeeze clamps
- Pry bars and wrenches
Tools For Cutting
- Knives and shears
- Circular saw
- Reciprocating saw
- Chop saw
- Table saw
Tools For Fastening
- Cordless drill
- Teco nailer
- Power nailer
Taking care of your balcony is as vital as any other part of the house, no matter how robust your deck may seem. Keeping an occasional eye on it can save you expensive renovations in the long run and ensure your safety as well. Visit here to related post to learn more about keeping your house in tip-top condition without spending big bucks!