Every year there seems to be a story about a deck or dock that collapses, which can cause serious injury. May is National Deck Safety Awareness Month and it’s something that we at are very passionate about. Our deck safety inspections are thorough and let homeowners know what they need to address now, what they can wait on and what to be aware of.
If you aren’t sure if your deck is in good shape, here are a few safety signals to be aware of:
Not only are splinters annoying and sometimes painful, they are signs of a deck that needs some TLC. Over time, wood dries out when exposed to the elements, causing splintering. Splintering is the first sign of wood that needs to be attended to or replaced. Sometimes a good professional cleaning and sealing will do while other times new deck boards are required.
When walking on your deck, it shouldn’t creak extensively. A lot of sounds could be a sign of a weakening attachment or connection. A professional deck builder can evaluate the connections and attachment and make sure a collapse isn’t right around the corner.
Swaying and Shaking
When a deck is in good structural shape, it will not shake or sway. If your deck is moving, call a professional. The issue could be that the structure is just past its prime or maybe more footings are needed.
Warping or Bowing
Much like splinters, warping or bowing can be a sign of a deck safety issue. If the boards are pulling apart from the structure, it may need to be replaced with new boards.
If your deck is displaying any of these issues, it doesn’t necessarily mean your deck needs to be replaced. A deck can be structurally sound but the boards may need to be addressed for instance. That being said, it’s important to have it evaluated by a professional if you have any concerns.