Having a deck can make every get-together fun and memorable, but an unexpected injury from an unsecured deck can lead to pain and heartache. Here are tips for improving the safety of your deck.
Replace Deck Fasteners
The fasteners of your deck should always remain secure and tight to keep the deck together. It’s preferable to use screws, as they have a tighter hold on wood, while nails can loosen over time. Regardless of which fastener type you choose, you must inspect them for looseness or corrosion.
If you notice creaking or physical wobbling, you can easily replace nails and screws in minutes. And if you worry that you’ll make a mistake while doing it independently, you can call a professional inspector to make the necessary repairs.
Inspect the Railings
Deck railings are essential for safety, especially when living with pets or children. However, railings can have a couple of issues, the first being support problems. Deck railing should have a strong, stable foundation that supports at least two-hundred pounds on all sides. So give it a good push and pull to check its security. Furthermore, deck railings shouldn’t reside further than six feet apart.
Secondly, railings can also have height issues. They must meet a height of at least 36 inches, or three feet, from floor to deck. Furthermore, the handrail grip should have a diameter not exceeding 2 1∕4 inches. Lastly, each baluster should remain at most 4 inches apart. If you’re upgrading to cable railings, follow a drilling guide and know to space your posts to keep your railings stable and safe.
Observe Surrounding Trees
While nature is a beautiful feature on your property, it can be a potential hazard to your deck and home. If you notice any overgrown trees close to your property, ensure you prune the branches. You want to keep them from hanging too close to your deck area. This can result in falling leaves or broken branches that can obstruct your deck area or result in an injury.
Plan a Maintenance Schedule
It’s the little things you do that can impact the overall quality of a patio deck. Your deck has exposure to the elements, including rainwater, sunlight, and snow. So one helpful tip for improving deck safety is practicing deck cleanup and maintenance. Deck maintenance shouldn’t take too much of your time. It may just involve making minor repairs or doing yearly mold and mildew removal.
Furthermore, refinishing your deck will keep it looking beautiful and fresh for years. While a deck can add years of family memories and fun nights with friends, maintenance and cleanup are crucial for preventing accidents and structural failures.