Why you should check under your deck

You spent most of the summer on your deck. When's the last time you looked under it? If it's been awhile, maybe you should get under there.

"Look for things like rusted connections, missing connections and rusted nails," said Paul McEntee with Simpson Strong-Tie.

You also want says you also want to check for wood that's rotting.

"If you look at the wood, it'll tend to be discolored," he explained. "If you push on it with a finger or you push on it with something just a little sharp, it will poke into it relatively easy if the damage is severe."

That rotted wood needs to be replaced before it fails.

One more thing while your under the deck: check to make sure you have all the proper fasteners to keep that structure in place, especially if there's an earthquake.

"What we like to see is steel connectors, not just nails," McEntee said. "Nails can just pull out pretty easily, so you want to have a strong metal connector at all the key locations.

Screws dig into the wood, so they're more likely to stay in place.

When you check your deck, look for cracks in the wood. Cracks that are unusually large can weaken the structural integrity.

More Info: 5 Steps to a Safer Deck