Aging deck structures, harsh storms, high temperatures, and a lack of routine maintenance can increase the risk of a deck injury.
There are more than 40 million decks in the United States that are more than 20 years or older, according to the North American Deck & Railing Association, and hundreds of reported deck accidents occur annually.
Check your deck by following these seven deck safety inspection tips from outdoor living company Archadeck:
Boards: Check deck boards for rot, softness, or major cracking.
Every Connection: Inspect every hardware connection on the deck. Look for screws and/or nails backing out, red rust, and other signs of corrosion on metal connectors that can weaken the integrity of the deck.
Structure: Look at the posts, beams, and joists that provide the structural framework of the deck. Is there any noticeable sagging between supports?
Attachments: Most deck failures occur at the attachment site to the home. Ensure that the deck is properly attached to the house with bolts (not nails) and proper flashing for water protection.
Foundation/Footings: The foundation and footings support the weight, or load, on a deck and the columns that bear on them. Look for sinking or a noticeable sag.
Exits: Check deck’s exit areas, usually stairs. Are the stair stringers, treads, and risers ok? Do the stairs require a handrail? Is there adequate lighting to safely use the exits at night?
Rails: Look at rail posts and railing sections to make sure that they aren’t loose or wobbly. All pickets/balusters should be fastened securely and spaced no more than four inches apart.