A very common issue we have observed is lack of proper construction for exterior deck posts and their footings. Exterior deck posts should be on permanent footings. These typically are Sono-tube type footings, which are circular concrete forms that extend to frost depth and at least 6” above the finished grade.
The wood deck posts should be set on a standoff post base which prevents permanent contact with concrete and wood and the lumber should be pressure treated. This is a situation we rarely see. Many times we see posts buried in the soil and in permanent contact with the soil, as well as lack of footings or poor footings not to frost depth. These types of issues are not only a financial liability to a home buyer, but also, with enough time, will almost certainly cause damage and create issues with the safety of the base of the post. To learn more about the services provided by our structural engineers and to schedule an evaluation, call us at 973-771-6970.