How a Deck Inspection May Save Your Life
If your home has a balcony, veranda or deck, regardless of whether it is made of timber, concrete or metal, do yourself a favour and organise a regular deck inspection. It’s awful to think about it, but checking the stability and integrity of your deck may just save a life!
Call in a building inspector
A professional building inspector is qualified to examine more than just the interior of a home and its roof. Without even thinking about it, the one area of a property neglected the most is a deck. Yes, we stain or paint them regularly to keep them looking nice, however when was the last time you organised someone to come and thoroughly inspect the structural soundness of your outdoor area? A regular deck inspection by a qualified building inspector can identify any potential safety risks, and will also provide a solution for rectifying them and offer further advice with regards to expected repair costs.
Deck inspection inclusions
A property inspector will take special note of a number of aspects of your deck, including the following:
- Decay – All beams and posts are closely verified for signs of decay and softening and where posts meet the ground, the bases are checked for rot.
- Corrosion – All metal fixtures including brackets, screws and bolts are monitored for signs of rust and corrosion.
- Fittings – Serious safety hazards can exist where fittings connecting the handrail and balustrade are not secure or have become unstable over time.
- Height – Something as simple as the height of the handrail and the spacing between balustrades can be a risk.
- Age – Many older homes have decks or balconies that may not have been constructed according to strict standards and therefore may not only be illegal but prone to collapse.
A building inspector will thoroughly examine the underside of a deck too. Any hidden issues such as signs of rust may indicate water damage and lack of ventilation. Worse still, where there are signs that the deck is leaning or no longer securely anchored to the ground, a structural engineer may need to be called in.
Whether it is a loose board or inadequate bracing, deck safety is paramount in any home. Don’t risk the safety of friends and family. Take the time to ensure any potential problems are identified as soon as possible. A routine inspection, regardless of the age of the deck, will put your mind at ease.