There has been influx of news regarding deck safety in the last few months. Both the Today Show and local news have covered deck safety and how, when not built or maintained properly, decks can be very dangerous.
Decks in general have to withstand a lot of outside influences including rain, snow, wind, temperature changes. Additionally, a lot of homeowners don’t invest in the routine maintenance that decks need. All of these factors can result in a deck failure that can cause serious injury.
According to the North American Deck and Railing Association, there are more than 40 million decks in the United States that are 20 years old or older. We at Archadeck Outdoor Living, recommend checking the structure of the deck each fall and spring if your deck is over 7 years old (the average deck needs to be replaced every ten years).
To help homeowners determine if their deck is safe or not, we have come up with the Acronym “BE SAFER.” Go outside and take a look at the be safer components. If you have concerns or questions regarding the safety of your structure, have a professional come and perform a comprehensive deck safety inspection.
- Boards – check the deck boards for signs of rot, softness or major cracking.
- Every Connection – Look for screws or nails that are breaking away from the deck or have rusted.
- Structure – look at the posts, beams and joists that make up the framework of the deck. Pay special attention to any sagging that may be present.
- Attachments – the attachment to the house is very important as it is where most deck failures occur. Take a look under your deck and verify it is connected to the house using the proper bolts (not nails!) and flashing for moisture protection.
- Foundations/Footings – Look for sinking or sagging.
- Exits – Check the exits of the deck (usually stairs). Are they sagging? Does the rail need replacing?
- Rails – Look at the rail posts and rail sections and make sure everything is tight and not loose or wobbly.
Again, if you have any questions regarding the safety of your deck, please contact your local Archadeck Outdoor Living office.