When you consider all the different exterior components that a condo association has to deal with, decks are sort of like the Rodney Dangerfield of the list—they rarely get any respect.
“Decks are definitely something that people don’t pay enough attention to,” says Robert J. Burns, president of Burns Associates-Engineers in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, which provides reserve studies and consulting engineering services to the condominiums of New England. “They need to be cleaned, stained and they can be potential hazards if not monitored closely.”
Many of New England’s condominium decks were built 10 to 20 years ago, and are now nearing the end of their useful life—especially if they haven’t been maintained properly over the years. This is especially true in New England coastal towns, where salty sea air can wreak havoc on wood.
Attractive, well-maintained deck surfaces—whether attached to individual units or part of your condo's common areas—add to the visual and practical appeal of your building or HOA community. Keeping those surfaces functional and safe is just as important as any other exterior concern. There are a number of simple things your board can do to extend the life of your association's decks, and new materials and methods that can help.
“It’s vital that you have a proper preventative maintenance program for any deck,” says Ed Lenzi, owner of Lenzi Construction & Remodeling, LLC, which does business in New Hampshire. “Upkeep is necessary and a smart condo association will make sure that it’s not something they only look at when there is a problem.”