If you have a large deck area, then from time to time you may need to repair or replace the deck footings on your deck. The deck footing can help the deck to be in the perfect place, and you can also replace the deck footings when you come to replace the deck with a new style. Fitting your deck footings close to the frost line can also cause them to become damaged. Repairing or restoring your deck footings will give your decking a new lease of life, and so long as you have a few basic home improvement skills, you should be able to manage this task quickly and easily.
Step 1 - Dig up Your Deck Footings
The first step is a hard task, as it requires you to dig holes around the deck footings. You will need to have a large spade and be prepared to do a lot of shoveling, but you will also need to brace the front of your deck, either using jacks or specialist bracing equipment. The bracing should hold enough of the decking upright to support the entire deck when you expose the footings. Before you start digging, you should also supply yourself with guidelines on footer depth for your area, which will tell you how deep the frost line is in your particular area. You will also need planning permission to repair the deck footings, as the job will need to be done to code before you can consider yourself finished.
Step 2 - Examine the Footings
Once you have exposed the deck footings, you can then begin to check them over. Look for evidence that there has been splitting, or for signs that they have developed problems. You should check for insect damage too, as this will weaken the footings and make then more likely to fall. Your footings may be made of wood, in which case you will have to perform a very quick repair, or they may be made of concrete, which will be easily replaced.
Step 3 - Repair the Footings
Take some additional lumber, and fit this around your wooden footings. The lumber should be screwed into place, and a layer of caulk or concrete applied over the top. This will allow the lumber to bind tightly with the original footing. Apply a layer of water-resistant varnish before you install the lumber, in order to protect it better against frost and moisture.
Step 4 - Add New Footings
If you have concrete footings or want a better footing for your deck, then you should mix together some concrete and pour it around the footings that are already in place. This concrete should then be layered with a line of gravel or crushed stone, which will make it stronger. Once you are finished, you can then leave the concrete to dry before adding the soil back into the hole.