When Does Your Deck Become a Safety Hazard?

Dilapidated outdoor deck thanks to poor maintenanceDo you have a deck? If so, do you use it, and enjoy it? Decks are wonderful places to gather outside, sitting in a relaxing chair, reading a book, drinking and eating, and/or chatting with friends and family. That said, sometimes decks wear out, especially if they’re older and in a harsh climate. And decks can become a safety hazard in need of some TLC.

Wooden decks, in particular, tend to need some work done when they get older. Most decks are designed to last 10 to 20 years and then need some attention. If you regularly maintain and seal the deck, you should be good, but most people don’t, so they end up encountering some safety hazards sooner than later.

Rotted Wood

First, does your deck have rotted or warped wood? If you notice some boards are shaped “funny” and have a sway/curve to them, they’re warping. This indicates deterioration. When you have rotted or warped wood, the structural integrity of the deck becomes compromised, and that’s a safety hazard.

Loose Connections

Next, there are “loose connections.” Over time, you might get wobbling deck boards that aren’t nailed in like they used to be. Someone could trip and fall over them. Or the nails are becoming loose on the sides of the deck, such that the structure looks like it’s starting to “fall apart.” Yikes. Meanwhile, you might have unstable railings that wobble. What if someone goes to grab the railing and it’s not stable enough to support them and they fall? You don’t want that to happen, especially with older people.

Unsteady Posts

Finally, there are the posts. These are what hold up the deck and they can become “off-center” of their footings, making the deck lean. A structural shift can be dangerous. Also, it’s worth looking at where posts meet the ground. They should be securely bolted into a metal base attached to the concrete footing. If posts are directly on dirt or concrete with no metal base, that’s a red flag.

Are you concerned about the state of your current deck? Is it time for an inspection, repair work, maintenance and/or replacement? Call Brad F. Beller Construction today at 815-455-8051. Beller serves clients in Crystal Lake, Illinois and vicinity.