Do decks last forever?
Of course not. Yet far too many homeowners, apartment owners, and business owners must think they do. Today it’s estimated of the 50 million decks in the U.S., fully half of them – 25 million decks – are past their useful life and candidates for replacement or repair.
That sobering stat comes from the voice of the decking industry, the North American Decking and Railing Association (NADRA), a not-for-profit corporation.
“A deck isn’t like a roof, door, or window. An aging window or roof may leak air or moisture. A deck is all about life safety. If a deck collapses, a railing gives way, or the stairs fail, there are serious injury risks,” says Michael Beaudry, NADRA executive vice president.
Long-time southern California construction contractor and deck builder Art Steedle of Steedle Brothers Construction agrees. Steedle says you don’t have to look far for unsafe decks, due to aging or shoddy construction.
“You look at some of these decks and think, ‘How did this happen?’” Steedle says.
The good news is, May is Deck Safety Month®. This NADRA-sponsored event is a time for responsible deck builders, remodelers, inspectors, and contractors to promote deck inspections and homeowner safety. To support safety awareness, NADRA makes available an assortment of deck safety marketing resources tied around the theme, Check Your Deck™.
A comprehensive Deck Safety Toolkit is available without cost to NADRA members. All of us at Feeney encourage NADRA members to request this high-value Toolkit now. It’s a powerful way to market and differentiate your business. Even if you’re not a NADRA member, the organization makes available a remarkably handy Deck Evaluation Checklist that we enthusiastically endorse.
The Deck Evaluation Checklist is a professional document that covers all aspects of deck safety inspection, including:
- Footings/Deck Support and Posts/Columns
- Beams and Joists
- Deck Boards/Deck Surface
- Handrail Assemblies and Guards
An owner-friendly 10-point deck safety checklist is available here. NADRA also makes it easy for owners to find a builder, inspector, or deck-building materials. By the way, if you’re a deck builder, contractor, or inspector and not a NADRA member, we encourage you to consider this valuable investment in your business and industry.
NEW there is a new online deck inspection tool from NADRA!
Feeney is proud to be a 2018 gold-level NADRA Deck Safety Ambassador. As you consider ways to multiply your 2018 project schedule, take advantage of Deck Safety Month throughout May. You may not only pick up some deck repair and replacement projects, but also win valuable respect and good will as a safety-first service.