1. All deck material will be checked for signs of decay. Large cracks or splitting are signs of decay. All stair treads need to fastened properly, coated or stainless steel screws are best.
2. The wight bearing board which connects the deck to the house is the ledger board. If there are gaps this is a sign of the deck coming loose from the house. The ledger should be fastened with 1/2 galvanized bolts not nails.
3. Is the flashing intact. There should be a a continuous caulk seal.
4. All railing systems should be tight with no wiggle. Balusters need to be secure.
5. Are all the horizontal deck boards tight, firmly secured and flat.
6. Areas with mildew should be cleaned properly.
7. The support post should be at least 6x6. These posts need to be secure to the joists and the footings.
8. The protective coating needs to be refreshed whether it is stain or a clear coats. A protective stain coat only lasts about 3 to 4 years. Most clear coats are only good for 1 to 2 years.