Are you planning on entertaining on your deck this summer?

  • More decks collapse in the summer than in the rest of the year combined.

  • Almost every deck collapse occurred while the decks were occupied or under a heavy snow load.

  • There is no correlation between deck failure and whether the deck was built by a homeowner or a professional contractor.

  • There is a slight correlation between deck failure and the age of the deck.

  • About 90% of deck collapses occurred as a result of the separation of the house and the deck ledger board, allowing the deck to swing away from the house.  It is very rare for deck floor joists to break mid-span.

  • Deck stairs are notorious for lacking graspable handrails.

  • Many do-it-yourself homeowners, and even contractors, don’t believe that rail infill spacing codes apply to decks.

In the wake of a recent deck collapse at Glacier Presbyterian Camp, Lake County Sheriff Don Bell told NBC Montana you need to be aware in the safety of your deck before building and when using. An inspection of your deck should be done on an ongoing basis to ensure its safety.

Decks must be designed to support the weight of people, snow, and other object loads and being able to resist lateral and uplift loads. Decks collapsing catches the news more frequent then rail failure, however rail failure happens more frequently than you think. Rail failures are less dramatic and normally don’t result in death.

Here are things to look for when building or inspecting your deck: footings and posts; girders and beams; ledger connection; bracing; cracks; connectors and fasteners; post and rail connections; missing guardrail and guardrail height; decking; stair(s) and stair handrails; lighting; electrical receptacles; and proper location.

Have your deck inspected today with BR Home Inspection Services by calling 330-550-4113 or by scheduling online at .