Tips to Inspect Your Deck for Safety Hazards

Your deck takes a lot of abuse with the weather being cold and hot. Wood gets old and splits and boards and railings can get loose with age. You need to inspect your deck regularly to make sure that it is sturdy and will not collapse at your next party. If you can improve your deck before it falls you are way ahead.

Check your deck for wood that is getting old and decaying.

Any splits in the wood should be checked to be sure they are still sound. As you are checking your deck make sure you check areas that are in moist areas the most since that is where a deck has the most rot and damage from weather. The area that is attached to the house is very vulnerable so check it thoroughly and often.

The railing and stairs should be checked to see if they are securely attached and not loose or decaying. Make sure the stairs are always free and clear of plantings, toys or other things that can create problems when you use them.

A deck with metal fasteners needs to have all the screws, nails, anchors and other types of fasteners checked to see if they are still tight. Any fasteners that are not tight need to be tightened to prevent problems. Any rotten or corroded fasteners should be replaced since they can rot the area they are on.

If you find issues, check out our Deck Building Guide to replace your old deck

Walk around the deck and examine the deck for any sagging or movement in the deck. A deck that is in proper repair should not have any sags and it should not move when you walk around on it. A deck that has movement in it should be repaired before it falls.

Leaves and other debris should be cleaned off of the deck.

If debris is left on a deck it will create areas of mildew and rot. These areas can be slippery and decay can set in. Clean your deck regularly and check for mildew. If you find mildew wash it off and apply a waterproof coating to protect your deck from further decay. Since leaves and debris can create rotting areas on your deck you should consider cutting down any trees or shrubs that are near you deck.

If you leave your deck furniture out on the deck over the winter you may need to check the deck furniture to make sure it is still sturdy and good for using on your deck. Check hinges and chains on the furniture so be sure they can handle weight without breaking.

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