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Deck Inspections

Why do I need to have a Deck Inspection ?

Decks can be a wonderful addition to a home, providing a space for relaxation, entertainment, and family gatherings. However, safety should always be a top priority when it comes to deck construction and maintenance.

It's important to prioritize safety when it comes to decks, as both deck rail failures and deck collapses can lead to injuries.

 

Many deck collapses happen while people are on them.   90% of deck collapses happen because of separation between the house and the deck ledger board. This allows the deck to move away from the house causing it to collapse. Even more injuries are caused by deck railing failures

Regular inspections and proper maintenance are crucial for ensuring the safety of decks, especially when a significant percentage of them may not be in a safe condition.

Common safety issues with decks include rotting wood, loose or deteriorating railings, weak support structures, corroded fasteners, and inadequate maintenance. These issues can lead to accidents, including deck collapses or falls.

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Understanding the significance of deck inspections is essential for safety, and the continued enjoyment of your deck. Taking the time to inspect and maintain your deck ensures that it remains a safe and valuable asset to your home.

What We Inspect During a Deck Inspection

  • Ledger Board:  This includes checking for proper attachment to the house, ledger flashing, and ledger fastener spacing.

  • Posts and Footings:  Inspect the condition and alignment of support posts and their attachment to the footings.

  • Beams and Joists:  Evaluate the condition, spacing, and attachment of beams and joists.

  • Deck Framing:  Assess the overall framing structure for signs of sagging, warping, or damage.

  • Deck Attachments:  Inspect the hardware, connectors, and fasteners used for secure deck assembly.

  • Decking Material:  Examine the condition of the deck boards, including any signs of rot, decay, or damage.

  • Railings and Balusters:  Check the stability and spacing of railings and balusters to ensure they meet safety requirements.

  • Stairs:  Inspect the stair stringers, treads, and handrails for safety and stability.

  • Guardrails:  Ensure guardrails meet height and spacing requirements to prevent falls.

  • Handrails:  Verify that handrails are properly installed and meet applicable height and graspability standards. 

  • Lighting:  Assess the presence and functionality of lighting fixtures for nighttime safety.

  • Flashing:  Check for proper flashing around the ledger board to prevent water intrusion.

  • Nails and Screws:  Examine the condition and suitability of fasteners used in the deck's construction.

  • Hardware:  Assess the condition of connectors, brackets, and hangers used in the deck assembly.

  • Footings:  Confirm the presence of footings supporting the deck.

  • Electrical:  Confirm that receptacle outlets for the deck are GFCI-protected. 

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A comprehensive residential deck inspection should be conducted by a qualified professional who is knowledgeable about deck construction and safety standards.

The objective of a residential deck inspection is to determine if the deck construction substantially conforms to current construction guidelines and to identify deck components that are unsafe or are near the end of their expected service life. Here are the typical areas and components that a residential deck inspection assesses:

What are the Benefits of a Deck Inspection?

Safety:  Ensuring the safety of your deck is paramount. Over time, decks can deteriorate due to exposure to the elements, heavy use, and other factors. Regular inspections help identify potential safety hazards such as loose or rotting components, unstable railings, or weak supports. Addressing these issues promptly is vital to prevent accidents and injuries.

Maintenance:  Even well-constructed decks require ongoing maintenance to remain safe and functional. Regular inspections can help you identify areas that need repair, cleaning, or refinishing. Proper maintenance extends the lifespan of your deck and ensures it remains an enjoyable outdoor space.

Longevity:  A well-maintained deck can last for many years, providing a valuable addition to your home. Knowing how to inspect and care for your deck helps you maximize its longevity and return on investment.

Enjoyment:  Decks are often used for various outdoor activities, from family gatherings to summer cookouts and parties. Ensuring that your deck is in good condition allows you to use and enjoy this space with confidence and peace of mind.

 

Preventive Action:  Regular inspections can catch issues early, preventing minor problems from becoming major and costly repairs. This proactive approach saves you time and money in the long run.I

 

Resale Value:  If you plan to sell your home in the future, a well-maintained and safe deck can enhance your property's appeal to potential buyers, potentially increasing its resale value.

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