Warm summer weather has finally shown its face in Chicago! Many homeowners with decks on their backyard patio are preparing for BBQs, family nights, and weekend breakfasts they can have now that the weather is better.
A great deck space is one where everybody wants to spend time. However, with that time outdoors comes the responsibility of ensuring your deck is a safe area for you, your loved ones, and even your family pet.
Read on to see some red flags to keep an eye out for and some general tips for a safe deck!
Signs Your Deck Is in Danger
Notice any of these issues with your deck? Call a professional ASAP; it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Loose railings and bannisters – Make sure that all handrails are secure, by giving them a little jiggle to check.
- Split wood – Notice any decay or wood rot around the area where the deck meets the house? That’s a BIG red flag.
- Fasteners in poor condition – Whether they’re corroded or coming loose, it’s not good for your deck. Also, keep in mind that these areas should be secured with bolts and NOT nails or screws.
- Unstable steps – If your stairs are loose, rotting, or suffering from any other trauma, you should consider having them replaced. Bad stairs is a serious safety hazard.
The above warning signs are something you’ll want to watch for all year round. Moving forward, we have some tips to make your deck a safe structure to enjoy, especially for those with little ones or furry friends.
Making Your Deck Safe
Your deck is a social space, and you would never knowingly invite loved ones into a dangerous area. So keep the care going by implementing these precautionary steps as well.
1. Grill carefully
We’re not saying you shouldn’t fire up the grill this summer, but just that you should do so mindfully. Never leave it unattended, and place a catch basin below (don’t let pets get into it). And place it in an area that doesn’t see as much foot traffic.
2. Proper railing measurements
If you’re having your deck built, be sure that the railings meet safety guidelines. Wide gaps can lead to nasty falls. Additionally, consider a railing cover to make the grip even sturdier.
3. Add some shade
Putting up an umbrella, large potted tree, or even an awning is a great way to offer refuge for the little ones and pets. They will be having too much fun to realize they might be getting sunburnt!
4. Flooring options
If you have little ones that are crawling around, using a deck tile or similar covering may be a good choice for you. While plain wood floors look great, they can lead to splinters.
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