Is my deck safe? It’s not a question that many homeowners ask. Why? Because decks appear to be simple to build. They are in fact structures that need to resist certain stresses. Decks need to be designed and built to sustain and support the weight of various things. Deck stairs need to be safe and handrails need to be grasped easily. There are deck failures that won’t pass inspection.
There are a few warning signs that your deck might not be safe. To determine whether you need to repair or rebuild your deck, here are a few of the signs that you should look at:
- Missing connections: A combination of wood screws, nails, and metal connectors should be used when a deck is built. Look at how your deck is built. If you see nails but no screws or connectors, your deck may not be safe.
- Corrosion of fasteners and connectors: Look for rust or other signs of corrosion that can undermine the deck structure and the strength of your deck. Screws, metal connectors, and nails can corrode overtime.
- Loose connections: Vital connections can loosen over time because of temperature changes and other factors. Issues such as loose stairs or wobbly railings or ledgers that appear to be pulling away from the home are all cause for concern.
If you have determined that your deck is not safe you’ll need to repair or retrofit it and maybe in some cases rebuild it altogether. Once the repairs are done remember to have it properly checked and inspected regularly.