If you have a backyard deck, keeping it safe for family and friends to enjoy is important. With the proper maintenance and upkeep, you can verify the deck is free from hazards and built to last. Here are a few tips to make your deck safer.
1. Inspect the Deck Regularly
Inspecting your deck regularly is necessary to make sure it’s safe and in good condition. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as missing or loose boards, cracked or rotting support posts, splintering wood, and algae growth. Repair any issues you find immediately to prevent the damage from worsening.
2. Install Safety Rails and Gates First to Make Your Deck Safer
Safety rails and gates keep small children and pets from wandering off the deck. Install tall railings so kids cannot climb over them easily. Secure gates with locks or latch systems that are out of reach of children. Don’t allow children to use the deck unless an adult is present. Lock the doors leading to the deck to keep children safely indoors.
3. Use Slip-Resistant Materials
Using the right materials makes your deck slip-resistant and safe for people to walk on. Shop for decking materials such as composite wood with a slip-resistant texture, or install non-slip strips to the deck. Clean the area regularly to remove algae growth which contributes to a slippery surface.
4. Check for Rot to Make Your Deck Safer
Wooden decking materials can rot if they are not properly maintained. If you notice any signs of rotting, repair or replace the affected boards as soon as possible. Making repairs will prevent further damage to the deck and make the area safer. At least yearly, seal the decking materials with a weatherproofing sealant. You’ll protect the wood and extend the lifespan of the deck.
5. Secure Loose Hardware
Check for loose hardware on your deck, such as screws and nails. Over time and with the movement of the decking boards, fasteners can loosen. Tighten or replace them so they don’t harm your family and pets.
6. Store Deck Supplies Securely to Make Your Deck Safer
If you keep supplies like deck cleaner, garden tools, and lawn chemicals on the deck, store them securely. Install a weatherproof deck box with a lock so small children cannot access it. You’ll keep your belongings neat and organized and safely away from curious kids and pets.
Following these tips will help you keep your backyard deck safe for everyone who uses it. Perform frequent inspections to catch problems before they become serious, and take care of regular maintenance. With the right care and attention, you can enjoy your deck no matter the season.
PRIME Home Inspections provides inspection services to customers in western Washington state. Contact us to schedule an appointment.