May is Deck Safety Month, and experts at the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) recommend homeowners Check Your Deck before starting to plan family activities. At NADRA, Executive Vice President Michael Beaudry states their “number one priority and message to the public is to ensure that the decks they use are safe; outdoor structures like decks are exposed to sun, rain, snow and extreme temperature changes over the years. The need to maintain and inspect them is critical for keeping decks strong and safe.”
There is a carefully constructed checklist and safety awareness list of information for consumers to assure they have details available to them to evaluate their decks, this information can be found at https://nadra.org/deck-safety. It’s important for homeowners to check their deck on a yearly basis, as most decks in the United States as there are an estimated 40 million residential and 10 million commercial decks, and are more than 20-30 years old.
NADRA’s “10-Point Consumer Safety Checklist” provides information on how to look at different parts of your deck as well as maintaining an eye for what may need to be repaired or replaced. A professional deck inspection is needed, “a professional inspector 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 Beaudry.
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.
“We recommend ASHI-certified home inspectors or a knowledgeable deck builder for inspections of older decks,” says Beaudry. “Our NADRA member deck builders are required to adhere to a code of ethics and comply with state licensing and insurance requirements. This brings peace of mind to homeowners using our NADRA members.”
Deck inspection requires special knowledge, expertise and experience. NADRA offers training and certification for its members along with ASHI home inspectors and others interested in professional deck inspection.
The North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the necessity for regular inspection and maintenance of existing decks and proper installation of new decks. For more information visit http://NADRA.org.
At Best Rate Repair and Termite Co. we held a Deck Collapse Demonstration to inform the public what a proper deck vs. a poorly built deck looks like. By bringing awareness to the city of San Diego, we are able to help people maintain deck safety in their homes.
Information provided by NADRA