decksafety

5 Warning Signs of an Unsafe Deck

There about 40 million decks in the US. About 1/2 of them need either repairing or replacement.

The cause? Improper construction or/and lack of maintenance.

July 28th – 2013 :: Tinley Park, IL Fourteen people were injured Saturday night after the second-floor deck of a home in the 16700 block of Beverly Avenue collapsed during a party at the residence.

We recommend homeowners watch for these 5 warning signs of unsafe deck construction.

Totally Preventable!

Similar to your home, your deck should be built with a “continuous load path.”

That’s a method of construction that creates a series of solid connections within the structure. These connections transfer the weight or “load” from the deck through its frame and then to the ground and/or adjacent support structure (typically your home).

If your deck is built with a continuous load path, it will be better equipped to resist forces like wind, snow and earthquakes.

Keys to a Safe, Strong Deck

If you’re building a deck or have an existing deck, you should know how to evaluate its construction to make sure it’s structurally sound and safe. A strong deck uses proper structural connectors and fasteners (like nails and screws) and includes regular maintenance.

deck-safety-graphic_lgLedger Attachment
The ledger connection, where the deck connects to the house, is the most common failure point on a poorly built deck. It’s very important to use lag screws (SDS) or through-bolts rather than nails to secure your deck to your home.
Joist-to-Ledger
The floor joists intersect into a beam or ledger board and must be properly secured.
Joist-to-Beam
The beams must be secured to the joists that support the floor of the deck.
Beam-to-Post
The post must be properly connected to the beams underneath the deck.
Railing Post-to-Deck Framing
People often get injured due to weak or wobbly railings on a deck. The railing must be properly attached to the perimeter of the deck as well as the floor joists running underneath the deck.
Stair Stringer-to-Deck Framing
The stair stringers that run along each of the stair steps (or treads) must be secured to the deck framing.
Stair Tread-to-Stringer
Each stair step (or tread) must be tied to the stair stringers.
Post-to-Concrete
Post bases are used to connect the post to the footing or concrete slab underneath your deck.

 

Home Inspector – Home Builder and Building Consultant/Coach

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