When was the last time you’ve inspected your deck? Each year, people are encouraged to check the condition of their decks for safety reasons. Decks collapse and usually do so without any warning. Here are 5 Deck Safety Tips to keep your family safe:
1. Check your deck’s Flashing. Flashing is a waterproof material connecting your deck to your home and can fail due to improper installation or deterioration. It prevents water from seeping into your home and eroding the wood. Flashing should be extended at least 4 inches up the wall to which it’s attached.
2. Check all fasteners including the bolts, nails, screws, or anchors that hold your deck together. Make sure you have galvanized bolts through the deck framing and galvanized screws/nails attaching the rails. Galvanized fasteners are weather and rust-resistant.
3. Inspect the wood on your deck with a tool such as an ice pick. The wood is decayed if you can easily penetrate more than 1/2 an inch without the wood splintering.
4. If a deck is over 30 inches from the ground, guardrails must be installed and support 200 pounds of lateral pressure and be a minimum of 3 feet in height. And the amount of space between each rail should be no more than 3 7/8 inches wide.
5. Check the stair steps and stair railings leading up to your deck. Repair or replace any rotted wood sections and repair any area that is unstable.
If you think your deck needs to be updated or replaced to ensure the safety of your family and guests, contact an expert who can build a deck you can trust is safe.