Did you know… May is Deck Safety Month. As we wrap up this month and continue on into the Summer, we wanted to share some very important deck safety tips and information to help make sure your deck is in good shape and ready for company. Barbecues, fiestas, birthdays and graduation parties, the 4th of July, Labor Day… getting together with friends and family is what summer is all about. But before you begin planning and hosting gatherings that may spill out onto your deck, be sure to have your deck checked out by an expert to make sure it can handle the extra weight and movement of your visitors.
If you’d like us to come out to take a look at your deck, get in touch. We can give you safety suggestions and let you know if we think it may be time to replace your decking, framing, or flashing.
Deck Safety Check List
Here are some things to look for when checking the condition of your deck…
Split or decaying wood: Check several different areas of the deck to be sure the wood is still sound. Pay special attention to any areas that tend to remain damp, are regularly exposed to water, or are in contact with fasteners. This is also a good time to look for small holes in the wood, which may indicate insects.
Flashing: Flashing is a metal or plastic guard that directs water out and away from sensitive areas. It’s often installed where the deck and house come together, keeping moisture and debris from collecting between the house and the deck’s ledger board.
Loose or corroded fasteners: Fasteners include nails, screws or anchors in the ledger board. Tighten any loose fasteners, and pound in any nails that have popped up. If a fastener appears rusted or corroded, consider replacing it. The deck or stairs should appear even without sagging and should not sway or move when tested.
Stairs: Check any railings or handrails to be sure they are firmly held in place; check also the risers and stringers to be certain they are securely attached and not decayed.
Railings and banisters: These should be secure. This is especially important the higher your deck is off the ground.
Cleaning and maintenance: Clean away any leaves and debris, since these can be slippery and promote mildew.
Grills, fire pits, chimneys, heaters and candles: These features can create a warm and cozy deck atmosphere, but make sure any source of fire or heat is safely placed away from flammable surfaces or that the deck surface is protected by a non-flammable pad.
Lighting and electrical: Be sure all lighting is working; clean any light covers to allow maximum light to shine through, and trim any plants or tree limbs that may be blocking light.
Outdoor furniture & storage: Test all outdoor furniture to be sure it is sturdy. Avoid placing seating right at the edge of the deck.
Surrounding trees: If you have trees overhanging your deck, make certain there is no danger of decaying limbs breaking free and falling from trees surrounding the deck.
This deck safety information was provided by The North American Deck and Railing Association, NADRA.