All Deck’D out for Summer by Rob Holt.
Spring has finally sprung here in New England which means warmer weather, black flies, and a long awaited return to backyards, baseball, and barbecues. But lest we soon forget, New England winters are notoriously tough on not only us but on our homes as well which is why May is designated as Deck Safety Month® by NADRA, (the National Deck and Railing Association). So before you hang up that “parkah” and rush outside to bask in the sun, be sure to look down first, because your deck or porch just may not be where you left it back in the fall.
According to NADRA, there are over 40 million decks in the US that are 20 30 years old. This is concerning because not only were building codes different back “in the day”, but the lifespan of decks is limited and can vary greatly depending on original construction quality, materials used, and maintenance over time. Well-built, well-maintained decks are designed to last a long time, but even the best can’t escape the effects of gravity. High winds and accumulating snow and ice can also wreak havoc on decking materials causing them to wear out and weaken resulting in porches and decks that not only look shabby, but are more prone to collapse as well. So it is so extremely important that you inspect your deck annually; even if is relatively new.
- Inspections – NADRA recommends inspections of older decks be completed by a certified deck inspector annually however they also provide a basic, 10 point checklist for deck owners at: http://nadra.org/NADRA_DSM_Checklist.pdf.
- Ways to reduce potential deck collapse – In addition to an annual inspections there are many ways to help reduce the risk of a deck collapse as well. Acadia Insurance’s list or their top eight is at: https://www.acadiainsurance.com/deck-deck-crash/
- Insurance – Finally; it is extremely important as you prepare for the summer season to be sure that your homeowner’s insurance policy is up to date and that you have proper coverages and sufficient limits to protect you and your family’s assets should something go wrong.
A Foy insurance representative will be more than happy to go over your insurance program with you so just give us a call.