Your deck is the perfect place to enjoy warm weather with friends and loved ones. However, a poorly maintained or unsafe deck could possibly collapse, causing serious injuries to you and your guests. During Deck Safety Month® in May, Breyer Construction & Landscape recommends homeowners Check Your Deck® before starting to plan family activities.
BC&L supports the work of NADRA, which has created campaigns and educational programs, along with certifications for home inspectors, deck builders, remodelers, code officials, engineers, architects, distributors, lumberyards and manufacturers to improve proper installation practices. The organization has also developed checklists and safety awareness information for consumers to assure they have details available to them to evaluate their decks. The information can be found at www.NADRA.org.
“Your roof has a life expectancy. Your windows have a life expectancy. What about your deck?” says Michael Beaudry, executive vice president of NADRA. “Consider the snowfall accumulations from just this past year. These heavy loads cause additional stress on outdoor structures and create a need to evaluate. 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.”
According to BC&L, a key element to homeowners enjoying their decks for years to come is making sure it is safe and code compliant. NADRA’s “10-Point Consumer Safety Checklist” is an efficient way to take a good look at the different parts of the deck, with an eye to what might need maintenance, repair or replacement. The free checklist can be found below.
Homeowners should consider a professional deck inspection. “A professional inspector or builder will thoroughly examine your deck, provide information on your deck’s capacity limits, identify any dangerous problem areas and give you some insight of what to keep your eye on in the future,” says Breyer.
BC&L reminds homeowners that older decks require closer scrutiny and regular inspections. Many decks were built before code requirements were established to protect consumers. Some of these older decks may have deck-to-house attachments using only nails instead of the current recommended construction using deck tension hardware that greatly helps in the prevention of ledger failures.
Deck inspection requires special knowledge, expertise and experience. The team at Breyer Construction & Landscape is available to assist homeowners with deck inspections and can be reached at 610-376-8086 or by visiting www.BREYERCONSTRUCTION.com