A home inspection will also cover any decks on the home we’re inspecting. The most important things we look for are the footings (the concrete pads the deck posts rest on).
Then we inspect the posts and how they are holding up the deck.
Next inspection is the floor joists, the things the deck boards are fastened to.
The Ledger board is then inspected to see if it’s bolted onto the home properly and at the same time we look to see all the floor joists are held up and in place by joist hangers. If they aren’t it’s possible the entire deck can pull away from the home, drop and cause injuries to anyone standing on it.
Next are the stairs (if any), and last are the railings. Failures in any of those areas can cause injuries.
The picture of this deck shows no bolts or hangers. Will it fail? At some point yes. When will it fail? That I can’t answer but I can promise I would not stand on this deck no matter what the occasion was.
Decks carry a lot of weight when people are gathered around grilling or just hanging out with family and friends and decks are subject to different types of stress from people walking around on them. It’s easy to build a safe deck so why take a chance with your safety, the inspector will do a complete deck inspection as part of your home inspection. Have fun, be safe.