How to Stay Safe on Your Deck This Summer

We are in the peak of summer and chances are you’re loving spending time out on your deck. The sun is shining, the barbeque is smoking, and you and your friends are soaking up how amazing your deck is. While all is good, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and your guests safe on your deck. With an average of 45,000 deck related injuries per year, it’s crucial you keep yourself safe by following our deck safety tips!

Tip 1: Look for signs you need to replace or repair your deck

Before inviting over guests or utilizing your deck, make sure to check for the following issues:

  • Pest Damage: You can spot pest damage if the deck moves when you step on it, if there are holes or sawdust piles, or unusual decaying

  • Rust: Beware of rusty nails or fasteners and contact Michiana Deck Builders to see if there is a further issue

  • Cracked Wood: Cracked wood is unacceptable and should be reported to a decking professional right away

  • Loose Railings: Even the slightest movement in a railing is a sign that they should be replaced

  • Mold: If you see a green tint, mushroom growth, or fuzzy mold on your deck, call a professional. Mold is a major problem that needs attention immediately.

Tip 2: Make sure your deck is up to code

Your city has specific safety codes the help keep your deck safe and compliant with the law. Talk to a professional to understand what is required for your deck. Here are a few general codes:

  • Any deck that’s higher than 30 inches above grade has to have a guard rail.

  • Railing systems have to feature balusters that can resist 125 pounds of force applied horizontally or vertically (as measured in a 1-square-foot area)..

  • Openings in railings must be small enough that a 4-inch sphere can’t pass through

Tip 3: Take precautions to keep kids and pets safe

Take extra precautions if you have pets or kids spending time on your deck. Chances are they will love it but need to be supervised more. Here’s a good place to start:

  • Look for raised wood, splinters, or nails that could injure a child or animal

  • Clean the grease track on your grill so the pets won’t mistake it as food

  • Test the deck’s surface temperature to determine if it’s too hot for your pet’s paws

  • Make sure all stairs have a child-proof gate

Tip 4: Protect the deck from furniture and bad weather

To maintain your deck’s safety, it’s important that you consider how furniture and weather can impact the life of your deck. These tips should help keep your deck like new:

  • Remove leaves and outdoor debris from your deck which can cause rot if they are not swept or blown away

  • Clean away snow with a snow blower to avoid damaging the deck’s surface

  • Add glides under your furniture to protect the deck’s surface

  • Place plates underneath plants to catch water and prevent potential rotting or surface damage

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