May is Deck Safety Month®. If you own a home with a deck, it’s time to get ready for summer outdoor living by ensuring that your deck is safe to use. According to the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) only 40 percent of existing decks are completely safe.
To help you get started, we developed a “7-Point Deck Safety Inspection Checklist” to guide you through the process and show you what to look for.
Composite decking is easy to maintain but still requires an annual safety inspection. This composite deck built around trees features clear glass rail panels that provide an unobstructed view of Skaneateles Lake.
7-Point Deck Safety Inspection Checklist
|1. How Your Deck is Attached to the House
|3. Deck Foundation
|4. Structural Framing and Fasteners
|5. Split and Rotting Wood
Professional Deck Safety Inspection
A professional deck safety inspection will go beyond this 7-point assessment to evaluate the structure of a deck. Some signs of a structural problem include sagging beams or joists, gaps between connecting points, and excessive bouncing or moving of the deck or stairs.
A professional will review the size and spacing of structural elements. They will also look at fasteners and metal hangers to determine if appropriate construction materials were used. All deck beams and joists should be sized and spaced properly to ensure the safety of your deck.
The composite material used for this expansive deck is rot-free but the ledger, fasteners, posts, beams, joists, rails and stairs should be checked annually for wear.
Deck Safety Month® is a registered trademark of the North American Deck and Railing Association.