It is that time of year again. Old man winter has finally decided to make his annual retreat leaving us with warm days and warmer thoughts. This month w shake off the sweatshirt and trade it in for a bathing suit. Before you put the hot coffee down and run out for a cold beer there’s a couple things you should double check. The thing that may take the spring out of your step the quickest, is a sprained ankle.
May is NADRA’s (North American Deck and Railing Association) “deck safety month” for good reason. This is the time of year we really start to use our decks often. Based on data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 6,000 people are injured each year in incidents involving the structural failure or collapse of a deck or porch. The worst part of these accidents isn’t that they ruin a spring and summer but more that they are preventable with a little bit of forethought and diligence. You are going to want to make sure that everything is sturdy instead of appearing sturdy. One of the most common failure points is the ledger. Here’s a couple things to look for on a ledger.
Brazilian Decking like Ipe, Cumaru, or Tigerwood is some of the longest-lasting wood around. Not only do these woods make your deck look absolutely stunning, they also last decades longer than other alternatives. Many customers ask if we recommend an alternative framing material, since they want their framing to last as long as their deck. Continue reading →
If you’re like most home owners, you’re looking to invest in creating a small outdoor oasis for your friends and family this summer. With the multitude of options for your backyard, how do you know what’s right for you? Two options that many homeowners consider are decks and porches.
Ipe plugs keep the surface of this luxurious deck smooth.
In order to fill holes left by screws, you will need to purchase wood plugs. But if you want to go with the most secure plugs, then the Extreme Plugs is the way to go! These plugs are completely unique since they are milled with tolerance absorbing rings, which make them the safest option. You can buy the Extreme Plug in three different sizes and five wood types, Ipe, Cumaru, Garapa, Tigerwood and Massaranduba. To get more technical details and options, watch these videos:
Unfortunately, deck collapses like this one are happening far too often. Old decks that were made with the wrong fasteners, rotting ledgers, and in many cases, neglect are the primary factors. When it comes to fasteners, nails are the worst kind since they don’t hold to the material well and often slip out after years of use.
If your deck builder didn’t build to code and rushed through the installation process, you might find many loose boards, unsecured railings, or deteriorating flashing. When you add these factors together you can see why so many decks are failing and causing massive injuries across the country.
If you own a deck that’s more than 15 years old, now is the time to perform an annual deck inspection.
What should you do if you own an older deck? What if you just bought a home with a deck?
Get a deck inspection from a licensed contractor. Hopefully, you choose someone who is familiar with today’s building codes and who can point out any issues that are in need of immediate, or future repair. Contact your local building department or NADRA chapter to find professionals in your area.
What if your deck is in need of complete renovation?
Should your deck inspection reveal that it’s time to replace your deck, why not build a better one? AdvantageLumber.com has a full inventory of sustainably harvested decking materials. Best yet, our hardwoods fit any sized budget because we are the direct supplier. There’s no middleman which means you pay less for today’s finest decking materials.
There are over 40 million decks in the United States that are over 20 years old. Given the numbers, it’s easy to imagine that a great majority are in need of repair or replacement. If you own, or know someone who owns an old deck, now is the best time to take back your outdoor life. Why tempt fate, or worse, the inevitable collapse of your deck? If your deck was built with nails, or is older than 20 years old, now is the time to give yourself a manageable solution. Call 1-877-232-3915 to get your free decking quote.
Loose and corroded fasteners can be a deck owner’s worst nightmare. Inspect the decking for these detrimental elements before it’s too late.
Over 40 million of decks in the United States are over 20 years old. If you have not inspected the structural integrity of your deck in the past 20 years, or you have a home with a deck you know nothing about, this is the time to inspect the decking for potential hazards.
Summer is right around the corner. Spending time outside is just a way of life during these warm, sunny months, but don’t forget about your recent visit from Jack Frost. Sure the decking may look fine, but underneath there could be some damage that needs immediate attention.
If you recently purchased a home with an older deck, it would be best to not step foot on it until you learn a little more about its past. Walk underneath the deck and take a look at the fasteners, especially on the ledger board. The ledger board is the header board which attaches the decking to the house. This is where the majority of decking fails because the only fasteners used were simple straight screws.
Why are nails the worst possible fastener for a deck? Throughout the seasons decking expands and contracts. Over time, this stretches the area around the fastener and causes the decking to become loose. Even more moisture can enter through these holes and cause rotted decking. All around, nails are just a bad idea.
If you discover your old deck is held together with only nails, DO NOT WALK ON IT. This is an extremely dangerous situation and needs to be taken care of by a local licensed contractor before people walk on its surface.
Now you might be asking the question, “If nails are the only thing holding my decking together, how did this get past inspection?”
The answer is simple; updated building codes. Using nails has been phased out, and now more secure fasteners are used such as lag bolts and screws.
Now, if you happen to look under your decking and you see lag bolts or screws, consider yourself lucky! Most of the time these fasteners just need a little tightening up, but if you see any corrosion or rusting, it is important to change these fasteners out. If you have to replace fasteners completely, opt for stainless steel.
If you are unsure about the safety and stability of your deck DO NOT WALK ON IT. Contact a local licensed contractor that is familiar with the installation process.
Lag Bolts are the most secure hardware to hold a deck together. No matter what, do not rely on nails for securing anything.
Did you know over 40 million decks in the United States are in serious need of repair or replacement?
How would you feel if you discovered your deck was not up to code and could be the most dangerous area of your home?
If your deck was built prior to 1999, don’t neglect it any longer! With a few simple steps you can ensure you will have a safe outdoor space, up to code and is safe for you and your family to enjoy.
First thing’s first: if you own a deck that is over 15 years old or are unsure about the safety and stability of the structure, call a local licensed contractor who is familiar with your local building codes and can judge the safety of your deck.
Whenever you read a story, or watch a news report on deck failure, the cause is almost always due to how the deck was attached to the house. Many years ago there were no codes on how decks needed to be built. Nails were once an acceptable fastener to be used. Over time, these fasteners are known to corrode, which in turn deteriorate the wood, or the wood expands and contracts around the nail causing the nail to literally slip out without notice.
Prior to 2003 all pressure treated decks were treated with a chemical called: Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA). This chemical was used to increase the lifespan of the lumber, but actually had some negative effects. When pressure treated lumber comes in contact with galvanized hardware, the chemicals eat through the hardware, causing the hardware to corrode, and the deck to fail.
Something else you probably didn’t know: pressure treated lumber, used before 2003, was actually treated with Arsenic. Yeah, you heard me right, ARSENIC! A single 12 foot 2 x 6 board contains around 27 grams of arsenic – that’s enough to kill over 200 adults. So every time you come into contact with your pressure treated deck, you are making yourself vulnerable to the dangers of arsenic.
The obvious thing to do it to replace any loose or corroded fasteners. If the fasteners are nails, replace them all together. Lag bolts are now what national code requires, and are more secure. These bolts have nine times the resistance and have greater holding power than any nail.
Checking your deck regularly will also give you peace of mind. If you do happen to see anything that needs attention, contact a local licensed contractor or consult with your local building department FIRST prior to making any repairs. You don’t want to assume you’ve fixed something just to find out years later your fix wasn’t to code or could pose future hazards.