How to Build a Deck

Safety Concerns for Your Deck

Now that you're "decked out" with all of the info you need, don't forget that safety and maintenance go hand in hand. Here's where we really get into the long-term safety concerns.

Following the proper codes covers your insurance requirements, but have you given thought to your deck's safety and reliability? Although deck projects have become popular over the years, they certainly aren't without risks.

Every few years or so, it seems like a deck collapses somewhere and the resulting injuries fill the headlines for a few weeks. To make sure that doesn't happen to you, we've listed a few things to keep an eye on as the seasons pass with fun and activity on your deck:

  • Water issues -- One of the main sources of weak wood and danger, water affects wood's strength. Although wood naturally retains some moisture, excessive water can damage your deck, destabilizing it, especially at connection points or at the flashing.
  • Weight -- Make sure your weight load doesn't exceed your deck's capabilities. Too much weight is a primary reason for a deck collapse. Another is the connection to the house. Remember the plans you put together at the beginning of this process, and never load your deck with more than it was intended to hold.
  • Upkeep -- Always watch for popped nails, weak boards or wobbly railings. Maintaining the safety of your deck is all about keeping an eye out for small repairs before they become big problems.

With a bit of preparation and an eye for safety, you can easily build a deck that will be a source of enjoyment for your family for years to come. To learn more, visit the links on the next page.

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