Deck Inspections

by Jason Shaub, P.E.

Having your deck inspected regularly is important to ensure the safety of all that utilize it. Recently, Cuono Engineering has been hired to help inspect the structural integrity of backyard residential wooden decks for a local condominium complex. The community, which was built in the late 1990’s, consists of 29 buildings with 70 units in total. Each unit has an upper and a lower deck, resulting in 140 decks that need our assistance.


Outdoor wooden decks are particularly at the mercy of the elements, which over time can lead to various structural failures, such as detachment from the main structure which is typically accompanied by settlement. Some signs we look for, but buildings and homeowners should be aware of, are settling, loose railings, overall instability, and metal hanger corrosion.

There are many remedies to repair wooden decks such as replacing wood that is cracked, split, warped, or damaged from rot and insects and replacing corroded metal hangers to extend the life of it. When investing in or building a deck there are other alternatives to wooden decks, such as composite decking, which is stronger and more durable than treated wood. It is also not susceptible to cracking, splitting, or rotting. It is able to withstand the elements with minimal maintenance.


We recommend that decks under ten years old should be inspected every five years. Decks older than ten years should be inspected at least every two years. In the event of an unfavorable inspection, Cuono will evaluate and determine if providing repair details and/or reinforcing of existing members is more cost-effective than complete removal and rebuild of your structurally compromised deck. Don't wait, for safety's sake!

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