posted : Jun 05, 2014

Helping Homeowners evaluate their Decks. Reporters' Checklist.

Key places to check on a deck = decaying wood, flashing where your house and deck join, corrosion, railings and bannister height, grills, lighting and furniture storage.

By: Staff reporters of Georgia Weekly Post

Summer is upon many yards or mega gardens of Buckhead, Johns Creek, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and Brookhaven. It is time to invite friends and hang around the decks of the Beautiful Rich Five.

▲Your deck. Keep it safe for your family and guests. Some come with all the extras.


Deck Safety is on the mind of many homeowners. 

Helping homeowners check their decks, Gerogia Weekly Post reached out to home improvment contractors and 

Deck Safety experts for advise.

Today, homeowners in Georgia are more aware of the need to keep their deck safe, but they often don’t know what that entails. Homeowners cannot call the city or the county for advice. Most are outsourced. They will not come to your home for free. Calling a contractor is another risk. It becomes an open ended project and before you notice, leading to a full re-building of a deck!! There are many horror stories.

Knowing what they can do to be safe is the subject of this homeowner's friendly list. There are books for simple house repairs. Those will get you to learn and be ready to ask questions. You can pick them up at a book store. In addition to cook books, it is good to have them around the house.

Homeowners may ask a contractor about concerns they have about their older deck, either while they’re discussing another project or by calling a contractor they know and trust from previous work. To help guide homeowners through key inspection needs, Georgia Weekly Post put together a checklist of quick, easy spots to review. 


▲Time to look into your deck. Make sure it is safe to use for another summer.



Key Places for Consumers to Check on a Deck:


1. Split or decaying wood. Look at different areas to be sure the wood is still sound, especially the ledger board (where the deck attaches to the house, a common source of failures). Pay special attention to places that remain damp or where water puddles.

2. Flashing. Check the metal or plastic guards installed where the house and deck join.

3. Fasteners. Using house tools, test for tightness and corrosion at various locations on the deck. Check the ledger plate attachment to the house and the joist attachment. It is critical that they are properly bolted using the right fasteners. 

4. Railings and Bannisters. Wiggle them to ensure they’re secure. Also measure to confirm that they’re at least 36 inches high and preferably 42 inches high, with railing balusters no more than 4 inches apart.

5. Stairs. Confirm that the risers and stringers are secure. If the area behind the stairs is open, the opening should be no more than 4 inches tall.

6. Grills, fire pits, etc. Look for burn or scorch marks. Ensure the deck surface is protected with a non-flammable pad.

7. Lighting and electrical. Test all lighting and ensure none is blocked by landscaping. Childproof or cover all open outlets.

8. Furniture and storage. Check furniture to ensure it’s stable and move it away from the deck’s edge. Ensure there is secure storage for all deck maintenance chemicals and lighter fluid.  


▲The Beautiful rich five; Dunwoody, Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven and Johns Creek are known to have the most beautiful decks outside Florida. Are they safe?


 For Comments; please write to editors@georgiaweeklypost.com


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