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  • Writer's pictureBocan Residential Improvements

Deck Safety | Evaluating Safety Concerns | Is your Deck Safe?

Updated: Feb 17

With more than 60 million decks in the United States, it is estimated that around 30 million decks are past their lifetime and may need repaired or replaced. In further estimations it is believed that around 2,900 injuries occurred between 2016 and 2019 because of failures and/or collapsing of decks, porches, and balconies. Bocan Residential Improvements (BRI) is going to walk you through some of the basic things you need to look out for, the most important parts of deck safety, and when/why you may want to schedule a deck evaluation.


Safety Topics in this Blog

  1. What is Deck Safety?

  2. Homeowner Deck Safety Check-up | Before BRI Deck Safety Evaluation.

  3. When and Why to Schedule a Deck Safety Evaluation with Bocan Residential Improvements.

  4. What will Bocan Residential Improvements Check in my Deck Safety Evaluation?



What is Deck Safety?


A thorough deck inspection or safety evaluation should include the following: Making sure that the proper joist hangers/brackets are present and that none are missing where needed and/or corroded, checking bolt sizes and bolt types (lag bolts, through bolts, etc.), evaluating the use of nails versus proper exterior grade screws and looking to see if the nails are withdrawing from the boards, checking to see if your decks support post are the proper size, ensuring that your beams are connected to your post correctly, ensuring that your beams and your joist are the correct size, checking to see if your ledger board is still strong and not pulling away from your house, ensuring that your railing is strong and up to code, looking to see if your stairs have proper additional support and a proper run and rise, and checking for mold/damp areas where rot may be present or beginning.


We understand that you may not know how to check for all of the aforementioned items, and we will provide a possible solution for you. First, we will give you a couple of ways to test your deck yourself before requesting an expert. Then, we will provide you with information on when/why you may want to schedule a deck safety evaluation with us. Lastly, we will provide you with a link to our deck evaluation service.


Homeowner Deck Safety Check-up | Before BRI Deck Safety Evaluation

Picture of a rotting deck that needs evaluated to see whether it is functioning safely

Below are a couple of things you can do as a homeowner to check if your deck may need a deck safety evaluation from Bocan Residential Improvements.


You can start by identifying potential areas of rot or corrosion. Once you identify areas of rot, take a small screwdriver and attempt to penetrate the wood (do not walk on or under your deck to attempt this if it is not safe). If the screwdriver penetrates the wood at a 1/4 inch or a 1/2 inch, or if the wood is soft/spongy, rot may be present and now would be a good time to schedule a deck safety evaluation. If you are looking at your deck and you notice loose nails, wood pulling away, rusted out brackets or bolts, cracked support beams, rot, or anything that may appear off to you ... now may be a good time to schedule a deck safety evaluation. If you are on your deck and notice excessive movement or feel uncomfortable or unsafe, now would also be a good time to schedule a deck safety evaluation.



When and Why to Schedule a Deck Safety Evaluation with Bocan Residential Improvements



Your deck is 10 years or older.

If your deck is this old, chances are it doesn't meet code anymore. Code is constantly adjusted for important reasons such as: some of the previous code may no longer viewed as safe, decks are collapsing and need to be updated to be safer and stronger, as well as other reasons extending from up-to-date research and on-going litigation. If your deck is 10 years or older, chances are it may have rot or loose boards. If you have not lived at your current residence for the lifetime of your deck, it may not have been properly taken care of.

You recently moved into a house with a deck or are thinking about moving into a new house with a deck.

If you recently moved into a new house and you have concerns about your deck, we advise you do some of the previously mentioned safety checks. If you have concerns about your deck and need an expert deck safety evaluation, you can schedule a deck safety evaluation with us at the bottom of this blog.


If you are thinking about moving into a house that currently has a deck and you would like to see if it is a good investment for you; if you'll need to replace the deck, if you'd like to know around how much it would cost to replace the deck ... you can schedule a deck safety evaluation with us at the bottom of the blog post.

You recently had a deck built by a contractor that raised a few red flags with you or you noticed some things that looked off with their build.

Bocan Residential Improvements is all about helping homeowners feel safe with their current deck situation as well as offering our expert knowledge on whether or not a deck is up to our safety standards and up to local code. We want to know that everyone in our local area is able to feel safe on their deck, especially if they just paid for a brand-new deck.

Your deck feels or appears scary, and you are noticing rust, rot, wood pulling away, and/or other safety issues.

As we previously discussed in this blog post if you are noticing these safety concerns now would be a good time to schedule a deck safety evaluation.


What will Bocan Residential Improvements Check in my Deck Safety Evaluation?


BRI will begin by checking the most important part of your deck, the structure underneath. It's very important that your support is up to code and strong enough to withstand tough winter storms as well as remain safe for yourself, your family, and your guests. BRI will first check your support post to make sure they are the correct size and that they are either tied into concrete correctly or are in placed in concrete. From there BRI will continue looking at support and whether or not your lumber is the correct size and has the proper connections and brackets. BRI will also look to check that no lumber is pulling away and that your ledger board is not pulling away from your house. BRI will check your railing to ensure that it is strong enough and contains the proper connections as well as the proper height. BRI will check to see if your deck joist spacing are correct and up to code. BRI will look to see if your steps have the correct run and rise. BRI will check all of the aforementioned and more.





Bocan Residential used the following sites to collect information in order to write this blog.





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