Deck Safety 101

There are many important items to check during the home inspection.  One of the critical items on the exterior of the home is attached decks.  Today’s building codes have changed and the way we built them 15-20 years ago is no longer acceptable.  There are many news articles recently detailing deck collapses where there were multiple injuries and deaths in some cases.

What are some of the important details that should be checked to make sure your deck is safe?  Here are a few of the items:

  • 1. Attachment to the house.  Is the deck bolted or just nailed?  Is the deck ledger board flashed correctly?  Are there joist hangers?
  • 2. Is the support beam properly constructed and supported?
  • 3. Are railings secure?  They should withstand 200 pounds of lateral force.
  • 4. Are the metal hangers corroded?  Corroded hangers can cause catastrophic failure.
  • 5. Is the deck surface in good condition?
  • 6. Is the stairs properly attached?

These are a few of the items that should checked during a typical inspection.  If you have an older deck and would like to have it inspected, give us a call at 304-709-3200.  We would be glad to stop by and review the condition of your deck.