A Safer, Longer-Lasting Deck in 5 Easy Steps

It is important to build your deck to code and to maintain it after installation to ensure that it stays structurally sound and safe for you and guests. Here are some quick tips to ensure a secure surface to entertain the ones you love!

1. Monitor Your Deck

Exposure to the elements, improper maintenance and faulty construction are just a few reasons why a deck may not be safe. To make sure these factors are not affecting your deck, keep your eyes peeled for corrosion, rots, cracks and missing or loose connections. If you notice these issues or have any concerns about your deck, it is important to fix them as soon as possible contact a professional if you are not a deck expert.

2. Keep it Strong!

Gravity, Lateral and Uplift are three types of forces that cause pressure on your deck and can lead to problems with the connections that keep your deck strong!

gravity

  • Gravity is caused by people standing on the deck and/or snow or ice sitting on the deck resulting in downward pressure.

lateral

  •  Lateral is the movement of the deck when people walk or lean on the railing. This is also caused by earthquakes and wind.

uplift

  • Uplift is when wind is caught underneath your deck causing the deck to lift.

3. Make Sure to have a Continuous Load Path!

If you have a deck built with a continuous load path, you are better equipped for the forces that can harm your deck and weaken it! A continuous load path is a series of connections in the deck structure that will help carry weight.

4. Be a Corrosion Buster!

Because decks are outside, they are exposed to the elements. So it is important to make sure that you are checking the metal connectors, screws and nails that hold the decking together! If you are not checking these items, they may corrode and weaken the structure which can lead to a very dangerous result such as a deck collapse! TIP: Installing stainless steel connectors, screws and nails when building your new deck will help avoid corrosion from the beginning.

5. Maintain, Maintain, Maintain!

As a home owner, you know that maintenance is required throughout your home, including your deck. Too keep a safe and beautiful deck, it is important to make sure you clean it, check for nails that may be lifting, warped boards, etc.

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