How important it is to have your Home Deck Inspected Properly

More than 2 million decks are built at homes and replaced each year in North America home owners. InterNACHI estimates that of the 45 million existing decks at homes, only 40% are completely safe.

Because home decks appear to be simple to build at home, many people do not realize that home decks are, in fact, structures that need to be designed to adequately resist certain stresses. Like any other part of your house or building, a home deck must be designed to support the weight of the maximum people, the maximum snow loads, and objects. A home deck must be able to resist lateral movement and uplift loads that can act on the home deck as a result of wind or seismic activity. Home Deck stairs must be safe and handrails graspable. And, finally, home deck rails should be safe for children by having proper infill spacing at your home when over 33 inches.

A home deck failure is any failure of a home deck that could lead to home injury, including rail failure, or total deck collapse. There is no international system that tracks  home deck failures, and each is treated as an isolated event, rather than a systemic problem. Very few municipalities perform investigations into the cause of the home deck failure, and the media are generally more concerned with injuries than with the causes of collapses. Rail failure occurs much more frequently than total home deck collapses; however, because rail failures are less dramatic than total collapses and normally don’t result in home death, injuries from rail failures are rarely reported. Here are some interesting facts about home deck failure:
More home decks collapse in the summer than during the rest of the year combined.

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

There is no correlation between home deck failure and whether the home deck was built with or without a building permit.

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

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

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

Many more injuries are the result of rail failure, rather than complete home deck collapse.

Home 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 home decks.

A proper deck home inspection relies heavily on the professional judgments and experiences of the home inspector.

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Phone: 940-390-4083 Cell OR TEXT

E-mail: robert@reyesinspections.com