As temperatures rise and Easter nears in South Louisiana, people will undoubtedly take to the great outdoors for recreation, entertainment, and quality time with family. Whether it be grilling steaks, boiling crawfish, or simply relaxing outside, we often enjoy the great outdoors from the comfort of our own deck or patio. Decks not only add to the aesthetics of a home, they often add value to a home as well along with providing a great area for recreation and relaxation. As enjoyable as these structures are, I have been surprised in my work as a contractor to see how many of them go unattended in terms of maintenance which eventually renders them both unsightly and unsafe. To help you avoid some of these mistakes I have listed a few maintenance and safety tips below that will help keep your family safe and enjoying your deck this summer.
According to the Director of Wood Materials and Engineering Laboratory at Washington State University Don Bender, “Decks cause more injury and loss of life than any other part of the home structure.” The Virginia Building and Code Officials Association says that much of this is due to faulty construction methods, incorrect or unsuitable materials, and lack of maintenance. Below are five tips that should help keep you from becoming one of those severely injured or worse.
- Examine support posts and beams for rot, splitting, or shifting
2. Examine all attachment points between house and deck if attached to home
3. Inspect all fasteners (nails, screws, bolts, brackets, etc.) for improper use, rust, and corrosion.
4. Inspect guards and railings to ensure they are securely attached.
5. Use grills, heaters, fire-pits, and bbq’s cautiously and ensure safe guards are in place (such as this grill mat ) to prevent fires.
Regular deck inspection and maintenance is key to the longevity of your deck. I believe that much of the degradation that decks suffer is due to the belief of homeowners that it is an outside structure made of treated wood, therefore it does not require ongoing maintenance. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that any structure or system of your home needs regular maintenance to perform as well as it should for as long as it should. Yes it cost a little time and money here and there to properly maintain your deck, but replacement will cost a lot of time and money at once should you neglect it.. Thanks for reading.
If you are not exactly sure what to look for when performing a deck inspection or have any questions, call Teche Handyman Services, LLC @ (337) 943-7969 for comprehensive deck assessment, maintenance, and/or repair.
Teche Handyman Services is Acadiana’s Premier Home Improvement Contractor.