How to Ensure Composite Decking is Safe at your Home in Chantilly, VA
Many folks think a deck is an easy thing to build, but like many other structures, decks must be built to withstand many stresses to meet building codes. A deck must be able to support the weight of furniture, grills, heavy potted plants, and people. While there are certainly a lot of DIY home improvement folks out in Chantilly, VA, composite decking and wood decking designs require special building knowledge to ensure your deck is safe and meets code.
When decks are poorly constructed, they can lead to serious injuries. The key to safe entertaining is to make sure your deck is built by a professional like Hal Co Fence in the first place. As experts in deck design and building, we understand that a safe deck needs to provide a complete or continuous load path, which refers to a series of connections that transfer the load or weight through the frame to the ground and/or to the supporting structure, for example, your house. It is with these connections that the biggest code violations can be found.
An all too common problem is when screws and bolts are not adequately attached to the ledger board, which is how the deck is attached to your house. Code prohibits the use of standard nails because these can easily pull away and cause the deck to collapse. Many DIY deck builders do not understand this. Some other common code violations are related to:
- Proper fastening of guardrails to the deck framing. Here again, the use of connectors is a key element in ensuring a guardrail can handle a load of 200 or more pounds. There is a reason homeowners get antsy when their guests are leaning over the deck rail. It is a big stress on the structure and point of failure for many decks if improperly built.
- Post bases of the structure also must be very secure, so they cannot be displaced. If even one post moves, the integrity of the whole structure is compromised.
- Spaces between railings are also defined, so should someone such as a small child fall within the deck enclosure or its stairs, they will not fall through or risk additional injuries.
Deck materials are also an important component to consider when building a deck for your home in Chantilly, VA. Composite decking, while heavier in weight, can be a little less strong in some ways than traditional wood and thus require extra supports. Do not leave deck safety up to chance. Choose experts to build your deck, get permits and inspections, and make sure your deck builder has a warranty on the work.