Safer Decks Bring Peace of Mind.
We too often take our decks for granted, assuming that the builder followed all of the best practices. We also assume that after years of service, and often neglect, it’s still in satisfactory condition. Check out this news clip to see why these assumptions can lead to tragedy.
Mid-America Inspection Service, wants to remind you that inspecting your deck is not a once and done activity. Decks provide a great place to relax but do have a few requirements to help assure your family's safety. Remember to check each of the following at the start of warmer weather or more frequently, so that nothing interferes with the sun and fun.
- Look for cracks, holes or signs of decay. Probe places where water might accumulate such as depressions and cracks. Holes may indicate insects are setting up home. Check with your local pest control expert.
- The ledger board (the board attached to the house that supports the ends of the deck joists) should be attached with stainless steel or galvanized lag bolts or screws. Nails can work loose. Verify that the ledger board still fits tightly to the house. There may be a small air space here but the ledger board should not be loose.
- There should be a flashing that directs water running down the side of the house so that it does not enter behind the ledger board. Check for damaged or missing flashing.
- Hand rails should be firmly in place and have no signs of decay. Older decks may not comply with more recent safety standards for railings and baluster separation. Bringing them up to present standards can help improve your family's safety.
- Check the connections between the decks beams and support posts. These should be firm with no signs of decay. Check the lower edge of the support posts for proper footing and lack of decay.
- Refinishing your wood deck can be an annual event. On a dry day sprinkle water on the deck. If it doesn't bead it's time to clean and refinish to help preserve it.
Mid America Inspection Service hopes these reminders will help you enjoy a safer deck and peace of mind.