4 Important Deck Safety Tips – The North American Deck and Railing Association reports that there are more than 50 million homes with outdoor decks and about 30 million of those decks are past their peak and in need of replacement or repairs. Before you have an outdoor gathering this season be sure to check your deck or have it professionally inspected to take care of any potential safety issues.
Here are 4 Things to Check to Ensure Deck Safety Tips
Softwood is a sign of rotting and could be unsafe to walk on. You can check a deck for rot by tapping on the trouble areas of the deck with a screwdriver. If the wood feels soft and your tap sounds like a mushy thud it is more than likely wood rot. If the rest of the deck is in good shape you may be able to just replace the area with the rot with a few new boards.
You have probably seen it in a show or movie where someone has leaned against a deck railing and it gives way causing them to fall over or completely off of the platform where they were standing. You can make sure this does not happen at your home by frequently checking the railings and securing weak spots at the first sign of weakness. The higher up the deck is from the ground the more often you should check to make sure that the railing is sturdy. When you notice a even a slight wobbling make sure there are no rotting issues and then tighten up any screws or bolts holding the railing on.
Holes in the word of your deck could indicate the presence of insects, we are not talking about large holes that could have been made by natural knotting in the wood, rather small holes that are still visible. If you do have insect trouble where they have bored holes into the wood planks of your deck those planks should be replaced as soon as possible.
Split and cracked wood should be replaced as soon as you notice it. When you do an inspection of your deck check for components of splitting or cracking this can include the ledger board which attaches the deck to the house, support posts, joists under the deck, deck boards, railings, and stairs. All of these areas should be checked for any cracking or splitting.
It is always a good practice to ensure your deck is in safe and top condition before you begin using it frequently during warmer weather. If you use your deck frequently year-round try to schedule a couple times a year where you check and inspect your deck for its condition and safety.
For more information on custom-built decks in Snohomish County please contact us at any time or stop by and see us in person in the north Marysville/Arlington area.