"Building Every Deck Like It's Our Own"
Deck Shown: Built In Hot Tub Deck: AZEK ProCell in BrownStone with Alumirail Custom Railing in White
Often homeowners don't realize that they may be putting themselves, their families and their friends in danger by having a simple Saturday afternoon barbeque on their decks. Many decks in our area are in need of better anchoring to the home or even worse, being completely replaced! Many of the decks in our area were built before city codes were changed requiring that a deck be attached to the home in a safer, more secure manner. Building codes now require that a deck be attached to the home with a lag bolt that is 1/2" in diameter by at least 5" in length.
Another example of a dangerous condition in a deck would be the existence of "dry rot" in the wood frame structure or in the decking or railing itself (see picture below). This condition, while the term is something of an oxymoron, is created by the existence of microorganisms (typically fungi) that are present when the wood is damp for extended periods of time. Some homes that are built in areas with mature trees or near creeks have decks that stay moist most of the time or may never receive much direct sunlight to dry them out after being wet. These decks are prime targets for dry rot. Dry rot is often far worse than we think because it generally goes farther into the wood than can be seen with the naked eye. The only real cure for a deck with dry rot is to replace it. If you live in an area where your deck will not receive enough direct sunlight to keep it dry or in a high-moisture area, we recommend either replacing it with a composite deck or, if using cedar or other wood products, plan to keep it well maintained with sealants applied every year.
The above deck is an example of an extremely dangerous situation. Not only has this inadequately maintained deck gotten dry rot and mold/fungi, the railings would also not pass inspection in accordance with current building codes. Vertical or horizontal railings need to be built so that a sphere of 4" in diameter may not be able to pass through the railing openings.
Visit the NADRA website for a "Check Your Deck®" consumer checklist. This is an excellent resource tool for every homeowner to use to check their decks each spring. Click on the link below to visit the site and download the checklist.
Visit the NADRA Website to download: "Check Your Deck® Consumer Checklist"
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