Inspect Your Deck, And Put Your Mind At Ease
There are roughly 40 million wood decks in use across the U.S., most of them between 10 and 15 years old, according to the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA). While decks do not collapse every day, when they do, people can be injured or killed. You can help protect visitors to your home or business by keeping deck safety in mind.
PERMITS AND LICENSES
- As with any building, renovation or addition, be sure the deck has the required planning and building department approvals, including a building permit. Check with your local building department if you don’t have copies of these documents.
- Engage only licensed tradespeople, and check their license with your state before signing a contract or paying anyone. Furthermore, ensure that they have general liability insurance and adequate coverage limits. Ask for certificate of insurance to verify that the contractor is insured.
- Check your deck regularly for wear and tear or more serious deterioration. Have an inspection done by a professional if you are unsure what to look for or if you think there are any problems.
All the components that make up our homes and other buildings – including decks – require routine, regular maintenance to keep them in good repair.
In promoting May as Deck Safety Month, NADRA urges consumers to take time to Check Your Deck® for safety. NADRA offers a 10-point Deck Safety Checklist you can download to check your deck for conditions that could cause injuries from falls, fires, collapses, electrical shock and downed limbs from nearby trees. There is also a more technical Deck Evaluation Checklist to assist builders and inspectors.
As summer entertaining season heats up, be sure to Check Your Deck for safety.
North American Deck and Railing Association, a trade industry group
The Deck Talk Blog sponsored by Fiberon, a decking and railing manufacturer
A video from the city of Austin, Texas, demonstrating a good deck vs. a bad deck
Article By Troy Dohmeyer of Cincinnati Insurance