If your home has a deck, chances are it’s a favorite spot for outdoor entertaining and everyday relaxing. However, it can undergo some beating as it is exposed to sunlight and weathering year-round. It is extremely important to maintain your deck for personal safety as well as the safety of those enjoying the space with you. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 33,000 people are injured yearly due to structural failure or collapse of decks, railings and staircases. To prevent injury and avoid any other possible dangers, take the time to inspect these things on your deck:
Peek under the deck to ensure that fasteners and connectors are still in good shape. Even a good quality galvanized steel can rust, so it is important to make sure things are properly in place and call in an inspector if you see any issues.
If your deck is more than 30 years old, there’s room for concern as far as insects and termites. Construction materials aren’t typically treated with insect-resistant chemicals, so it can be easy for ants and other pests to enter the deck. If this problem increases, even the most structurally-sound deck can cause an accident.
Though wood usually splits with wear, certain types of cracks can indicate more serious problems. Be sure to keep an eye on even the tiniest crack to ensure safety. Water can get into cracks which will cause the boards to weaken. To prevent cracks and other issues, re-stain the deck every few years. Power washing is not advised as it can rip into the wood fibers and weaken them.
Railing on the deck is a necessary safety feature, especially if you have frequent visitors or children playing outside. Try to avoid pushing against the railing or sitting on it. If it sways, you’ll need to have it inspected.
Checking out these things on your deck regularly can ensure the safety of your family and those around you. Keep your outdoor oasis maintained for many more years of summer memories!