Fairfax deck builder, Halco Fence urges you to check your deck’s safety before your next party. And there’s good reason: according to the North American Deck & Railing Association, there are more than forty million decks in the United States that are more than 20 years or older, and hundreds of reported deck accidents occur every year. Here are the seven ways to check the safety of your deck:
- Boards: Check deck boards for rot, softness, or major cracking.
- Every Connection: Inspect every hardware connection on the deck. Look for screws and/or nails backing out, red rust, and other signs of corrosion on metal connectors that can weaken the integrity of the deck.
- Structure: Look at the posts, beams, and joists that provide the structural framework of the deck. Is there any noticeable sagging between supports?
- Attachments: Most deck failures occur at the attachment site to the home. Ensure that the deck is properly attached to the house with bolts (not nails) and proper flashing for water protection.
- Foundation/Footings: The foundation and footings support the weight, or load, on a deck and the columns that bear on them. Look for sinking or noticeable sag.
- Exits: Check deck’s exit areas, usually stairs. Are the stair stringers, treads, and risers, ok? Do the stairs require a handrail? Is there adequate lighting to safely use the exits at night?
- Rails: Look at rail posts and railing sections to make sure that they are not loose or wobbly. All pickets/balusters should be fastened securely and spaced no more than four inches apart.
For more information about decks in Fairfax VA that may be unsafe, please contact Fairfax deck builder, Halco Fence. Halco Fence has been designing, building, repairing, and maintain wood and composite decks in Fairfax, VA, and the rest of Northern, VA as well. We are experienced craftsmen and experts in the decking industry and appreciate the opportunity to serve you.