Decks provide many benefits. To make sure your deck is safe for the whole family to enjoy, there are some important safety features you need to incorporate.
Gresham Roofing and Construction, a top deck and roof repair company, shares these tips for boosting the safety of your deck.
Invest in Stable Railings
First, invest in sturdy, reliable railings. This is critical for any deck that is 30 inches or higher off the ground. To prevent children, guests, or pets from falling from the deck, be sure that railings are at least three feet high and reach the average person’s waist. Each baluster should also be no more than four inches apart. Your railings should be strong enough to support at least 200 pounds of pressure on all sides as well.
Replace Damaged Wood
Be sure to promptly replace any damaged wood in your deck. To reduce the risk of termite damage, you should remove leaves, moss and mildew right away. Not only will the moisture make your deck slippery, but it could also cause the wood to decay and splinter. To test the stability of your wood, you can use tools with a sharp tip, such as an ice pick. If you can push it easily into the wood, or if you notice the wood has become spongy, it’s time to replace your damaged wood planks.
Choose Nails Instead of Screws
Decks used to be built with nails, but nails can become loose over time, which is a safety hazard. Nowadays, screws are used in deck construction because their threads grip the wood much better. Note that not all screws are appropriate for exterior use. It’s best to choose a metal screw that can resist rusting when exposed to elements, as well as not react to the chemicals present in treated wood. The same is true for roof replacement.
Install Good Flashing
To prevent water in the deck from reaching your home, you might want to consider installing flashing– waterproof, corrosion-resistant material that connects your deck to the main house. Not all decks require flashing, but it’s highly recommended if your deck accumulates large volumes of water after a heavy rainstorm. Without flashing, your deck may be at risk of mold growth, which is a health hazard.
Schedule a Maintenance Check
Your deck may not have any noticeable problems right now, but since it’s exposed to sunlight, snow, and rain all year long, it will eventually give in to wear and tear. That’s why it’s critical to give your deck the proper care by regularly cleaning it. Scrubbing mold and mildew once a year is a great way to start. You may also want to make simple repairs or refinish the deck if the old finish has faded.
With good maintenance, your deck can provide many years of enjoyment for the whole family. For more inquiries on home improvement, turn to Gresham Roofing and Construction. Get in touch with us for emergency roof service and other concerns. Call us today at (503) 205-9477 or fill out our contact form to set an appointment.