Besides our main activity of sundeck building in Durban, we also maintain and repair sundecks.
Wooden sun deck repairs need to be performed from time to time and the sooner they are attended to the better. If a wooden deck is constructed correctly these repairs can be kept to a minimum, but from time to, factors beyond anyone’s control can result in repairs having to be made to your wooden sun deck.
The pics alongside show how we repaired this wooden sun deck in The Bluff Durban. It had been built on two posts of balau that were about 2.6m high. One of the posts had, for some reason, sunk slightly, soon after building the deck, but had since stopped sinking. The deck was about 7 years old and the subsiding had apparently occurred in the first year after building it. We were happy that it had stopped subsiding so we were able to use the existing posts to correct it. The client didn’t want us to install a new post because there was a lot of concrete and paving around the base which would have resulted in digging that up in order to set a new post and remove the sinking one.
The reason for it subsiding could have been that there were no horizontal nails inserted into the bottom of the post before it was concreted in. Nailing 6” nails into the wood at the bottom of the post and then setting concrete around the post will stop this sinking as the nails will act as anchors in the concrete. Without them the post can very easily move through the concrete and sink. Another reason could have been that the ground was not completely compacted and the whole level of the ground at that point sunk. Being The Bluff, the latter is quite probable as The Bluff is essentially one large sand dune and is continually moving.
Because the post had sunk about 50mm the top of the deck was no longer level. We jacked the deck up using two scaffolding jacks, one on top and one below, and a 50mm pipe cut to size. We placed a nice flat piece of 50 x 228 timber below to give us a level base and a larger foot print that the scaffolding jack provided.
We took the pressure off the post by jacking it up until both scaffolding jacks became tight up against the ground and the beam respectively. We secured the scaffolding jacks to the beam and the base plate using screws so that it could not slip off once we started lifting the deck. Once the pressure was off the post we cut the post in half and then continued to jack the deck up to our required height checking periodically until the top of the deck surface was again level. Once it was level we installed two pieces of galvanised angle iron on opposite corners of the post using coach screws.
We then filled the cavity we had created in the post, of about 50mm, with a block off wood as a fail-safe in case the angle iron or coach screws ever failed. This way the post could not drop down, in the event of the angle iron failing, as the block would prevent that.
Although it doesn’t look as nice as it would have had we replaced the entire post, it was much easier to do, less expensive and eliminated the problem of digging up the concrete and paving.
For a free no obligation quote on your deck repairs, deck building or maintenance in KZN please contact us on 031 – 762 1795 or use the contact us form below.