60% of decks are unsafe

Decks are wonderful additions that can really sharpen up the look of a home while providing a nice place to hang out with family. Though they are nice features on a home, many are not built to withstand the severe weather conditions of Idaho, and other diverse weather states.

The problems

Homes are built to be able to withstand severe weather conditions. The problem is, a deck should be looked at as an extension of the home. Therefore, should it not be built to the same standards of a home? Obviously, I’m not talking about following the same codes as the house, but it would be nice to see decks built with a bit more care, and safety precautions.

Home inspections

Here in Idaho, home inspections should include a thorough inspection of the deck. Home inspectors often see problems with decks such as:

  • footings not below frost line ~ can cause posts to raise and lower deck during the seasons
  • balusters not spaced correctly, or secured safely ~ fall hazard
  • handrails missing, or not properly sized ~ fall hazard
  • ledger board (connection to home) not secured well ~ possible deck collapse
  • nails used instead of through bolts and lag screws ~ nails tend to pull out
  • Improper sizing of materials ~ failure or collapse of deck
  • Improper construction practices ~ failure or collapse of deck

While this is a short list, there are many more common issues that are found by home inspectors every day. So, you can see why it would be important to have your home inspector take a thorough look at the deck, but is it really “unsafe?”

It doesn’t fail until it fails

In our professional opinion, “unsafe” is something that should never be overlooked. Though a connection may work for a period of time, that doesn’t mean it won’t fail in three years. Home inspections include these safety concerns because we want our clients to feel safe when using their deck. The last thing we want is for our client to contribute to one of the 40,000 annual deck injuries. Even though it may look fine, it doesn’t fail until it fails; and when it does, you won’t be ready for it.

In need of a home inspection?

Home Inspection ID would love to fill your home inspection needs. We provide inspections in Boise, Nampa, Meridian, Caldwell, Kuna, Star, Middleton and most of Treasure Valley. If you live in Idaho, an inspection is a must; but if your home has a deck, make sure your home inspector is knowledgeable in deck construction, or have a separate specialist verify its soundness in addition to the home inspection.

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