Car decks are generally constructed with durable treated timbers or from steel and timber. That doesn’t mean they don’t need maintaining.
This can be a safety hazard. Stop using the deck and replace rotting/decaying timber immediately. Replacement timber should be treated to the right standard for the situation.
Check under the deck and any areas where timber meets other timber (eg joists, bearers, decking) as these areas can trap moisture. Carefully check any dark patches as these indicate high levels of moisture. Sometimes timber appears fine from the outside even when it has started to rot, so use a fine pointed screwdriver to see if it is soft underneath.
Loose bolt connections on the safety barrier
This can be a safety hazard. Make sure the barrier is securely connected to the deck structure. Safety barriers are intended to prevent people and cars falling and should not move.
Blackish stains around boltholes can indicate that the bolts are rusting, in which case they’ll need to be replaced. Also check for undersized washers. Bolted connections often require a 50mm x 50mm square washer or a 55mm diameter round washer to be effective.
Bolts and undersize washers should be replaced by a professional.
Corroding steel connectors
Corroding galvanised steel connectors are a safety risk and should be replaced.
The work should be done by a professional.
Rusting on the steel frame of car decks
This could be a safety hazard. Spots of rust can be thoroughly cleaned and a protective coating applied. If the rust is extensive, obtain professional advice.
Decks and balconies must be built in accordance with the Building Code to ensure they are safe for people to use.
Decks below one metre off the ground do not require building consent but must still comply with the Building Code. Other decks do require a consent, which means:
- Your local council or other building consent authority will check your plans to ensure they comply with the Building Code.
- Inspections will be carried out during and after construction to ensure the deck is being built in accordance with the consented plans.
If you’re not sure whether you need a consent, or you’re not certain about the process, get in touch with your council.