4 Tips for Building a Safer Deck

Posted on: 17 November 2015

Many homeowners undertake adding a deck to their homes as a DIY project. Some of those DIY decks collapse due to mistakes that were made during the construction process. This article discusses some tips that you should implement if you want to build a safe deck.

Use Bolts Instead of Nails

Many people attach their decks to their houses using nails. This is because nails are very easy to insert (using a nail gun, for example). However, those nails can easily rip out when the deck is overloaded (when you host a party on it, for example). This is because the force exerted on the nails by the combined weight of the people will easily pull the nails out of the decking. You can avoid this safety hazard by using bolts to attach the deck to your house. The bolts are very strong because the nut at the bottom of the bolt holds that bolt firmly in place.

Caulk the Bolt Holes

You deck can still pose a safety risk if you do not apply a durable caulk (such as silicone caulk) in the holes you drill to insert the bolts. This is because moisture can find its way into the tiny spaces around the bolt. That moisture will gradually loosen the bolt until the deck becomes unstable. That is why it is advisable to apply the caulk before you insert the bolts in the holes. The area around the bolt will be watertight once the caulk sets around the bolt.

Install Flashing

The parts of the deck bordering the house may rot due to moisture accumulation if there is no flashing installed to protect your house. Use flashing to seal the area between the deck and the house. The deck will be safer because it will remain firmly anchored on a strong part of your house (a part that has not been compromised by accumulated moisture).

Construct a Detached Deck

You can also prevent the deck from making any contact with the house. This will prevent moisture from collecting in those parts where the deck meets the house. The gap between the deck and the house allows water to drain away freely. However, care must be taken to cross-brace the deck supports so that it does not wobble. This tip negates the need for flashing.

Your deck will be much safer if you implement the tips above as you construct it. However, it is much better to hire professional deck builders like Lifestyle Patios to construct your deck. This is because they will have the right building techniques to use the best materials to maximum effect.