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 Frank Knight, owner of Mr. Porch in Avondale. “Decks are pretty much neglected.”
Many of Chicago’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 with waterfront properties, where constant moisture and winds off the lake can be particularly tough on wooden surfaces.
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.
Out With the Old
In the current economic climate, most condo boards aren’t thinking about making changes to their decks, especially if nothing is visibly wrong with them. Even with a steady maintenance program however, wooden decks eventually deteriorate and may need to be repaired or replaced. Luckily, a host of new technologies are available to make deck construction and future maintenance a bit easier.