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Decks are one of the most popular renovations people make to their homes, and whether it be composite or wood, it’s important to make sure your deck is safe. That’s why May has been deemed “Deck Safety Awareness Month.”
According to Michael Beaudry, executive vice president of The North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA), “With more than 50 million decks in the U.S., it is estimated that 25 million decks are past their useful life and need to be replaced or repaired.”
That’s a LOT of decks needing some attention.“The need to maintain and inspect them is critical for keeping decks strong and safe,” he added.
Homeowners should usually consider a professional for deck inspection. “A professional inspector will thoroughly examine your deck, provide information on your deck’s capacity limits, identify any dangerous problem areas, and give you a map of what to keep your eye on in the future,” said Beaudry.
However, NADRA also offers resources to homeowners in need, such as a comprehensive toolkit, marketing materials, and inspection checklists, which can be found here.
The rule of thumb for a deck’s lifespan is around 15 – 20 years. Even if your deck was of the highest quality when it was built, all those years in the weather enduring wind, rain, snow, hot and cold temperatures, and more can make a big impact and gradually weaken your deck, making it unsafe.
So… not sure if your deck is safe and sound? We can help you out. Here are some of the top things to double check, according to NADRA:
1. Ledger: Is the ledger attached over siding, stucco, brick, or veneer? Has proper hardware been used to attach the ledger?
2. Hardware: Is there red rust from corroded metal hardware, such as fasteners, connectors, or metal posts?
3. Framing: Is any of the wood untreated, decayed, or rotted, or are there loose or missing connectors such as joist hangers, guard post to joist connectors, or tension-ties?
4. Footers: Are the footers at the proper depth and width using footer to post fasteners?
Learn more at the North American Deck & Railing Association.