Recent news on deck failures and led me to re-evaluate how I build my decks. Today deck safety is a huge code and liability issue.
Most experts agree that the average life expectancy of a wood deck is 10 to 15 years, but we all know many decks that are still standing and a lot older than that.
It’s estimated that there are millions of decks in the U.S. that are beyond their useful life and may be unsafe. Deck collapses have increased in recent years. Between 2000 and 2008, there were at least 30 deaths reported as a direct result of deck collapses, and more than 75 percent of people on a deck when it collapses are injured or killed. [source: Universal Forest Products]
If you’re building a safe deck or have an existing deck, you should know how to evaluate its construction to make sure it’s structurally sound and safe. Using the proper building techniques, materials, structural connectors and fasteners, as well as regular maintenance, are key to a safe and strong deck.