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Deck Safety

Deck Safety

With summer around the corner, relaxing on our decks is top of mind as well.  But is your deck safe?  With more than 50 million residential decks in the US, it is estimated that 30 million decks are past their useful life and need to be replaced or repaired, according to the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA).  It is important for decks to be inspected to ensure proper construction and maintenance and to look for safety issues. 

Age and deterioration is the most common issue with deck safety.  With age, decks that are 15 to 20 years old probably weren’t built very well because it’s only been since around 2009 when the International Residential Code significantly improved their standards. 

Another issue that is seen regularly is flashing.  Flashing protects the ledger.  Most decks are attached and supported by the house and if the connection at the house is not properly flashed, water gets in and rots the wood.  Rotted wood means things will not hold together.

Bottom line, while the inspection of the inside of the home is extremely important, so is the outside which includes the deck.  A good home inspector will take the time to look at the entire property to ensure you are given all the pertinent information to assist in your home buying decision.