May is just days away, and while we have enjoyed the warm, teasing weather of April, we are ready for less rain and more sunshine (AKA, we are ready for summer). May happens to be Deck Safety Month, offering a great opportunity for you to check and inspect your porch, deck or stoop for flaws that can be fixed before barbecues and outdoor parties appear in full force.
For all intents and purposes, we will mainly be describing deck safety tips, but they can be adjusted for smaller areas and steps if your home is without a deck.
The lifespan of a wood deck is between 10 and 15 years with regular maintenance and waterproofing, so a good starting point is identifying the age of your deck, and deciding if it’s time for a replacement or if it’s still in its prime.
Fasteners & Flashing
Inspect the screws, nails or anchors holding your deck together, as well as the flashing that connects the deck to your home. This may seem like a no-brainer, but a thorough inspection and/or repairing of these elements is key to prolonging the life of your deck and keeping you and your family safe while using it.
Deck railings can have marvelous decorating potential (score!) but remember that they also serve a purpose: safety. Repair wobbly sections, broken spindles and double check to make sure you are adhering to local building codes when it comes to height, openings and other components.
Other safety precautions include trimming back overhanging tree branches, taking the right steps when installing a fire pit or fireplace (relocate to a patio or use a non-flammable deck mat), and checking the condition of lighting and electrical outlets.
So don’t wait; get out there and inspect your deck so you can start enjoying your outdoor living space.