15-30 Minute Assessment

Decks and Porches

Most decks and porches are made of pressure-treated wood and durable plastics. Posts on concrete footings hold the frame off the ground, and joists support the floorboards.

Decks and porches can add value to your home. Inspect them yearly to make sure they’re stable, clean them seasonally, and reseal every 2-3 years.

Outdoor outlets should be grounded (GFCI) and have covers. And if you grill on a wooden deck, keep a fire extinguisher handy. A concrete patio far from trees and shrubbery is the safest spot.

When: Every spring

Typical costs:
Seal wooden deck: $550 – $1,270
Repair deck: $765 – $2,900
Replace deck: $4,000 – $11,000

Steps to Assessing Your Deck and Porch

Step 1: Inspect the frame beneath your porch or deck. Check the posts, beams, and joists for rot, cracks, buckling, or leaning. Press against the posts and frame — they should be stable.


Step 2: Check the floorboards for warping, cracks, or rot. Replace damaged or loose nails or screws. Make sure the floorboards are tightly secured to the joists. If they bounce, the joists might be unstable.


Step 3: Remove debris from the place where your deck or porch meets the side of your home. Look for rot or pooling water, which can indicate a drainage problem.


Step 4: Inspect railings for cracks, rot, or weak sections. When you press against them, they shouldn’t move. Look for nails, screws, or wood sticking out and fix them right away.


Step 5: Remove moss, lichen, mold, and vines. They can damage wood.