Wooden decks have been a popular addition to many homes since the 70s. There are many types of decks still in place today, many of which have been neglected in terms of repairs. While this may be acceptable for lower level deck areas, it is not a good decision to let elevated decks go very long without metal reinforcement. Using contemporary technology, all studs can be reinforced using stud welds and fasteners wherever necessary.
Reinforce Support Beams
Most older decks only have a single post in strategic locations underneath the floor to serve as support beams. While newly treated wood can be very effective when first constructed, wood decks that are not treated can deteriorate rather quickly. Elevated decks built in this manner are a catastrophe waiting to happen. Even treated wood can lose strength over time, and stud welding additional metal to assist in support of each beam can add years of usage as opposed to a difficult and expensive rebuild job later. It is also very important to inspect the base of the beam and apply new concrete as well as new metal bracing at the bottom. Welded metal reinforcement beams can then be attached to the older wood beam for additional support, ideally, to each support beam. Depending on the condition of the deck, strategic points of additional support for certain beams may work, but more support equals better results generally.
Floor joists will usually need some attention as well. One of the best methods of reinforcing deck joists is installing welded metal hangers fabricated to fit perfectly around and underneath the joists where they connect to the deck frame and support beams. Some companies, such as Northland Fastening Systems, know that every joint should be reinforced to some degree if there appears to be any chance of a deck collapse. While these hangers can be installed using nails and heavy duty screws, the truth is that a stud weld provides much more additional support.
The internal portion of the flooring is usually incorporated into the beam supports, but the connections to the frame can also be weak. Stud welds can be installed at each frame connection point to help ensure the flooring does not tear away from the frame. These additional supports should be placed under the flooring where the end of each floor board connects to the deck frame. Corner supports are great additions also, and many times it is a good idea to install connection supports at the top of each support beam where the stud meets ts the deck flooring. In addition, the connections where the deck is attached to the structure should be reinforced as well.
While this can become an expensive project in some instances, it is surely much better to be safe than sorry. Stud welds are an excellent option to provide additional support to any aging deck. Just remember that this can be a dangerous repair job and safety is also a priority during installation.