It’s the most exciting time of the year. That’s right, deck safety month!
Alright, so maybe Deck Safety Month isn’t exactly exciting, but deck safety is an important topic. Every year hundreds of decks across the United States collapse, causing injury and death. Just a few preventative checkups could prevent such a disaster. As you prepare to enjoy your deck during the long spring and summer days, give your deck a thorough once over:
Test the wood of your deck. Check for any splitting or decay, including on the deck itself, the rails, stairs and support posts. If the wood seems soft or spongy, this could indicate wood rot. Also, if you notice small holes, your deck may be an unwitting meal for termites or other wood chomping insects.
Flashing is the metal or plastic guard that products your deck from water and debris, helping to prevent wood rot and mold. It’s most often attached where the deck meets the house. Double check the flashing. Make sure it’s still secure and solid and that the areas around it aren’t damp or spongy. If you notice water collecting anywhere, consider replacing your flashing.
A deck is only as strong as the fasteners that keep everything together, including nails, screws and the ledger board. Over time, these pieces can become loose or even rust. Double check each fastener and tighten any loose screws that you find. Replace any rusted or corroded fasteners.
Each stair on the deck should feel solid under your weight. If you notice any bending or swaying as you go up or down, that is a safety issue that you should get checked out right away.
Railings and Bannisters
A collapsing bannister or railing could result in a very dangerous fall. Make sure that all bannisters and railings on the deck are 100% secure. Test them by putting your weight against them. If you notice any swaying or sagging, don’t allow anyone on the deck until the problem is checked out and fixed. Also, make sure your railings meet legal standards. Railings should be at least 42” high and no more than 4” apart so that small children can’t squeeze through.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Since you’re already spending some time checking out your deck, you might as well take this opportunity to give it a good clean. Clear out any debris that might have gathered over the winter, especially slippery areas where wet leaves or mildew might be present. If you do notice mildew, or if the coating has worn away, it might be time to recoat and waterproof your deck.
If you notice any safety concerns with your deck, it’s best to call in a wood repair expert like Best Rate Repair. We’d be happy to send out one of our knowledgeable wood repair specialists to take a look at your deck and provide you with an honest assessment. If a repair is in order, our quotes are very competitive, and we offer swift turnaround. We also provide top-notch deck coating and waterproofing services if you don’t have the time or expertise.
A deck is a great place to host a barbeque or just hang out and enjoy the beautiful San Diego weather. Just make sure it’s safe for you, your family and your guests.
Call Best Rate Repair at (619) 229-0166