You should inspect your deck every few years. Look at the footings for signs of sinking or heaving. Inspect your ledger board for signs of water damage or separation. Check the posts, beams and joists for decay, large cracks or severe warping. Make sure your hardware such as joist hangers are not corroding or missing fasteners. Look at your decking. Are there any loose boards or raised nails or screws? You may need to sand down any rough areas. How are your railings and stairs holding up? Over time, decks can deteriorate or they may have been built incorrectly to start with. If your deck was damaged by a storm, you may be able to have your homeowners insurance pay for repairs or replacement. Repairing a deck may be as simple as tapping down a couple raised nails or as complicated as replacing footings and rotten framing. Replacing a few deck boards or a rail baluster should be easy. You may want to hire a contractor to perform more advanced repairs. Repairing the structural parts of a deck can be dangerous. Take safety precautions when adding or removing posts, beams, joists and footings. Disturbing the frame could cause a collapse.