How to Maintain Deck Safety

People in New England, for the most part, get to enjoy their decks for a solid three seasons. The more adventurous even grill out back on even the coldest of winter days.

And yet, the North American Deck and Railing Association estimates that more than half of outdoor decks are past their prime. Is yours? Keep a sharp eye out for the following signs.

Rotted Wood

If any of the wood is soft, it’s likely rotted and can become unsafe to walk on until repaired or replaced. Inspect your deck for wood rot by tapping on any suspected problem areas with a screwdriver. It the wood feels soft and the tap of the screwdriver feels more like a mushy thud, you likely have wood rot. Provided the rot is confined to a small area or just a few boards, there’s no need to replace the entire deck.

Railing Safety

Inspect deck railings frequently and repair immediately if any part of it wobbles. The higher the deck is from the ground, the sturdier the railings should be to prevent falls. First, check for wood rot; if none exists, tighten loose bolts and replace damaged slats or handrails.

Hole Check

Whether it’s one or many, holes in a wood deck might indicate the presence of insects – specifically wood-destroying varieties. First, treat the deck for insects to prevent further destruction, then replace damaged sections.

The Splits

Split or cracked wood should also be replaced. Inspect the entire deck carefully, paying special attention to the support joists, ledger board, stairs, railings, and deck boards.

Heat With Care

A fire pit or chiminea can be a cozy addition, but if not used properly it can put your home at risk of fire. Never place any heat source near flammable surfaces, including deck railings. Always follow manufacturer instructions when operating a heat-producing source and protect the deck with a non-flammable pad where recommended.

Light Up the Night

If you use your deck at night, add a variety of lighting to add ambiance and illuminate the area for added safety. Consider string and rope lights, post cap lights, step lights, and landscape lights to both add beauty and make it safer for family and friends.

Pann Home Services is your complete home remodeling and handyman resource. From simple repairs to complete deck and patio rebuilds, we’ll work with you to design the perfect space for your long-term pleasure. Contact us today for a free consultation and proposal.