The North American Deck and Railing Association has established May "Deck Safety Month" as the time for homeowners to inspect their deck.

Based on the data provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 6,000 people are injured each year in incidents that involve structure failure or collapse of a deck or porch.The experts at Robson Forensic have investigated more than 50 of these such events and have put together some of the most common reasons of failures and what steps you can take to ensure these do not happen to you and your family.

Reasons for deck or porch failure

1. Pulling away from the house

The most common mode of total deck collapse involves the deck "pulling away" from the house. This usually occurs because the ledger board was not properly attached to the house.

2. Failure of support posts and joists

Structural failure involves the support posts and deck joists.

3. Railing failure

There are more injures related to railing failures than any other port of the deck. Railing posts may not have been installed properly and cannot withstand the specified lateral load requirements.

The North American Deck and Railing Association along with Robson Forensic have put together an inspection checklist to ensure your deck is safe and ready to use for the summer.

  • Check for split or decaying wood-especially on the ledger board, support posts and joists.
  • Inspect all fasteners and connection points-look for rust/corrosion and protruded nails.
  • Assure that there is not water ponding or collection around the support posts.
  • make sure that deck flashing is still in place and functioning.
  • Check all railings and handrails. Make sure the posts are firmly connected and can withstand. Inspect the baluster spacing. Assure that the hand railing is not frayed and has no splinters.
  • Steps-assure that the stringers are not split/checked and the handrails are still firmly attached.

These tips should ensure you have a safe and enjoyable summer on your decks!

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