Deck Safety Month
Have you looked at your deck lately? Like most people who have a deck attached to their home, you probably take it for granted that the deck withstood the winter just fine and is ready to go for the outdoor entertaining season.
May is deck safety month according to the National American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA). Since 2006, NADRA has declared May “Deck Safety Month®” and encourages homeowners and occupants to do a self-assessment of their deck. They have produced the “Check Your Deck®” consumer checklist that gives guidance to homeowners to check some of the basic items on their deck. The checklist is available at https://www.nadra.org/
“Your roof has a life expectancy. Your windows have a life expectancy. What about your deck?” says Michael Beaudry, executive vice president of NADRA. “Consider the snow fall accumulations from just this past year. These heavy loads cause additional stress on outdoor structures and create a need to evaluate. With more than 60 million decks in the U.S., it is estimated that 30 million decks are past their useful life and need to be replaced or repaired.”
About 25%-35% of the homes that we inspect have a deck attached to them. The decks can range from simple, square boxes, to elaborate, multi-level entertainment areas. These decks cost many thousands of dollars to build and maintain. The fact is that many of the decks we inspect have major deficiencies. These deficiencies range from simple loose guard (hand) rails, to possible problems that could cause the deck to collapse.
“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.”
Every year, there are many deck collapses or other failures that cause injuries to people. Most of these failures are preventable with relatively simple repairs. NADRA has a deck certification class and the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI®) has a standard for deck inspections.
During May 2020, we will be offering free, or reduced fee inspections of decks within our service area. These inspections will focus on deck attachments, flashings, railing systems, and other critical items.
Note that Dunsing Inspections does not offer any repair services. This is simply a way to provide a service to our community and hopefully prevent injuries to people or their homes. Contact our office at 847-367-0782 to schedule your deck inspection.