Each year, thousands of people are injured as a result of falls from decks or from broken deck boards or handrails, including more than 30 fatalities reported between 2000 and 2008 in all of North America.
The last thing any home or business owner wants to experience is someone getting seriously injured because their deck wasn’t constructed properly or subject to routine maintenance to keep it safe. At Toronto custom Decks Company, we’re the number one deck builder throughout the Greater Toronto Area and have designed and constructed decks for hundreds of customers over the last decade. Nothing is more important to us than the safety and satisfaction of each outdoor product we build.
As the area’s leading deck builder, we use only the finest building materials, follow all regulations specified by the National Building Code of Canada for workmanship, installation and safety, and partner with customers to achieve a deck plan that meets their objectives and budget.
Once a deck has been installed and meets all customer expectations, the role of the deck builder usually subsides unless questions arise about warranty work or ongoing maintenance. At Toronto custom Decks Company, we’ve grown our business by building relationships with customers and helping educate them on ways to keep their decks safe for themselves, family, and friends.
Start with the items on the checklist below.
- Inspect your deck for split or decaying wood. Canadian winters and the change of seasons can be brutal, so it’s not unusual for decks to take the brunt of what Mother Nature produces. There are many areas of the deck that could exhibit signs of decay after several years: The ledger board (connecting the deck to the house), the underside of the deck, especially support posts and joists, and deck boards, railings, and stairs.
- Look for any areas of the deck that are wet or have standing water. Even the best deck sealers will break down over time, allowing water and moisture to penetrate the surface into cracks or other imperfections in the wood. To evaluate how strong the wood is, use a screw driver to gently poke at an area that has gotten wet. If the wood is soft or spongy, or you’re able to break off splinters or penetrate the surface by a quarter inch or more, then the board or railing may have to be replaced.
- Fasteners including nails, screws, or other anchors are notorious for coming lose, popping up, or becoming corroded over time. These can be dangerous to people walking on the deck, whether wearing shoes or bare footed, and present a tripping or injury hazard. If possible, remove the fastener and replace it.
- Finally, railings and stairs should be secure at all times, and free of signs of wear or decay. Railings made of wood will degrade faster than ones built from metal, plastic, or wood composites, and may come loose from the deck. If you push on the railing and it gives, check to make sure it’s secured properly; the same goes for stairs.