Deck Safety Month in May each year is an initiative by the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA). As spring arrives, everyone’s looking to spend more quality time with family. Many a balmy afternoon outdoors or catching the evening breeze — barbecues and drinks in hand. There are over 30 million decks that are past their prime in the U.S. Most of them need repairs or total replacement. Deck Safety Month is a good time for homeowners to inspect how safe their decks are and increase the life span of this crucial outdoor space. All month, NADRA offers helpful tips, tools, and resources for people to check their decks.
History of Deck Safety Month
Deck safety may not feature in a homeowner’s list of priorities, but here’s why it should. Over the last few years, the number of decks that have fallen apart has increased — so have deck-related accidents. Many instances were preventable with regular maintenance.
NADRA decided to form National Deck Safety Month in May to generate public awareness. Many people aren’t aware that their existing decks need routine inspections and maintenance. Professionals can help you with proper deck installation, doing so can help prevent serious injuries and save lives.
What causes a deck to collapse? The usual culprits are poor maintenance and incorrect installation. Some decks give way to old age, too. Weather conditions over the years can damage railings and decks beyond repair.
NADRA states that most decks in American homes, and commercial spaces — about 40 million total — are more than 20 years old. These decks are ancient, as far as buildings go. Most of them came up before the implementation of current building codes. Today, decks need bolts as attachments to the house — not nails. The most common reason for a deck collapse is an improper attachment with nails.
A heavy structure collapsing on top of you is the stuff of nightmares, and it does happen. According to NADRA, over 75% of people sustain severe injuries or die when a deck collapses. Heavy snowfall may also damage and weaken the foundations of a deck over the winter months. So, it’s always a good idea to inspect your deck before using it in the summer.
Deck Safety Month timeline
Decks in America become fashionable extensions of people's houses, as they are no longer functional.
Deck manufacturers swap hardwood for aluminum since it’s easily recyclable.
NADRA establishes the first Deck Safety Month.
Homeowners look to composite materials for better sun and moisture protection.
Deck Safety Month FAQs
What are deck-building skills?
A deck builder must know wood manufacturing and construction. Other skills include measuring and cutting lumber, identifying challenges, and reading blueprints.
What is a deck carpenter?
A deck carpenter is a professional with skills in building outdoor decks. Deck carpenters procure, measure, cut, and construction materials for a sturdy deck.
What are decks made of?
The part of the deck that people walk on is wood, P.V.C., or materials that combine the two. Steel beams or lumber make up the overall structure.
How to Observe Deck Safety Month
Call a professional
Ensure the deck is safe before you entertain guests or use it yourself. Hire a deck builder, engineer, or home inspector to check that everything’s okay.
Check for decaying wood
If you want to D.I.Y., use a flat screw or ice pick to check for wood decay. If the wood breaks off or feels spongy, the chances of decay are high. Remember to check the railings for damage too.
Look for loose nails
Check to see that the fasteners are still in good condition. Tighten loose screws or nails. Replace anything that looks rusted.
5 Facts About Patios That Will Blow Your Minds
They are meant to keep animals
The first patios were pastures that kept animals safe at night.
They have Spanish origins
‘Patio’ comes from an old Spanish word called ‘pati,’ meaning “land at the back of the house.”
The rise of decorative patios
Ornate patios became popular fixtures in Mediterranean palaces and cathedrals during the 1400s.
They have Roman roots
The Spanish may have popularized the patio, but they borrowed the concept from the Roman ‘atrium.’
Patios in America
The patio became popular in the U.S. during the 1950s, complete with weather-resistant fixtures and barbeque grills.
Why Deck Safety Month is Important
It’s a month of safety
Deck Safety Month keeps our families safe. We also remember not to take the integrity of structures for granted.
It ensures our spaces remain intact
We put so much effort, money, and heart into our homes. Checking decks ensures the spaces we love remain intact.
It raises awareness
Be honest. How many of us knew deck safety was even a thing before this? Deck Safety Month gets everyone thinking and inspecting.
Deck Safety Month dates