Wolf Home Products is proud to partner with NADRA, the North American Deck and Railing Association, this month to recognize Deck Safety Month® to promote outdoor living in a beautiful and safe environment.
For many, May marks the unofficial start to summer. This means it’s time to get outside to work in the garden and start cleaning up the deck for summer BBQs. In addition to having a clean deck, it’s important to make sure you have a safe deck. Wolf and NADRA recommend homeowners Check Your Deck® this May before kicking off summer activities.
There are an estimated 40 million residential and 10 million commercial decks in the United States, with 50% of them being more than 20 years old. To ensure the safety of your family and friends, it's important for homeowners to check their decks on a yearly basis. Outdoor structures like decks are exposed to sun, rain, snow and extreme temperature changes over the years. The need to maintain and inspect them is critical for keeping decks strong and safe and helps to avoid possible collapses.
NADRA offers a 10-Point Consumer Safety Checklist, which is an efficient way to take a good look at the different parts of the deck, with an eye to what might need maintenance, repair or replacement. Below are 10 parts to examine when you Check Your Deck®:
- Split or decaying wood
- Loose or corroded fasteners
- Railings and banisters
- Cleaning and maintenance
- Grills, fire pits, chimneys, heaters, and candles
- Lighting and electrical
- Outdoor furniture and storage
- Surrounding trees
Homeowners should also consider a professional deck inspection. A professional inspector will thoroughly examine your deck, provide information on your deck's capacity limits, identify any dangerous problem areas and give you some insight into what to keep your eye on in the future.
It's important to remember that older decks require closer scrutiny and regular inspections. Many decks were built before code requirements were established to protect consumers. Some of these older decks may have deck-to-house attachments using only nails instead of the current recommended construction using deck tension hardware that greatly helps in the prevention of ledger failures.
Once you Check Your Deck® and ensure it’s safe, grab your friends and fire up that grill for your first BBQ of the summer!