Deck Safety Checks

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Because people are hurt every year by decks that collapse, Fairfax County’s top building official asks residents to check the safety of their decks every spring. Homeowners should check their decks before using them in the spring and summer, and there are five, easy tips to follow.

“Decks don’t last forever, so it’s important to check your deck regularly, especially if it’s older,” said Ray Pylant, Fairfax County’s building official. “Decks usually fall down because they aren’t attached to your home properly. Another common cause for injuries is loose guardrails or posts. But you can avoid injuries and accidents with regular inspections and maintenance.”

Follow these five safety tips:

  1. Check support posts and beams for rot, splitting or abnormal movement.
  2. Closely check the attachment points between the deck and the house.
  3. Check all fasteners, bolts, joist hangers and other hardware for rust or corrosion.
  4. Check all guards and rails to be sure they are sturdy and secured.
  5. Use grills, heaters and outdoor fire pits with care.

Warning signs that a deck may be unsafe include: loose or wobbly railings or support beams, missing or loose screws that connect a deck to the house, corrosion, rot and cracks.

Homeowners must get a county permit and inspections anytime they make structural repairs or changes to their deck. No matter where in Northern Virginia you live, in cities such as Alexandria, Annandale, McLean, Herndon or Purcellville, you can get more tips and information from Fairfax County’s Website or if you would like to speak to Hal Co professional deck contractor give us a call.







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