Protecting Against Deck Collapse Accidents

In the U.S., there are about 2 million decks built or replaced each year, with only 40% of all those decks actually considered to be safe under home inspection standards. The frightening part about this is that deck collapse accidents can often cause severe injury or even fatalities, depending on the extent of the damage. If the deck is high above the ground and it completely falls through, people could easily fall to their death. Even decks that are lower to the ground can still cave in or break off from the house, causing anything from head injuries to broken bones.

How decks are attached to homes is becoming a significant problem, as many decks are attached with smooth sided nails. Instead, they should be attached with something like a "thru" bolt. This kind of bolt links the deck supports directly to the exterior wall on the house and is a much safer way of building on a deck. Not only should homeowners make sure their deck is built soundly, they need to annually check on the condition of the wood that was used. If the house is in a location that receives a lot of rainfall or snow, the moisture can easily cause the wood to rot or mold to grow. When this happens, the wood needs to be replaced.

One of the biggest issues with deck repair or even initial deck construction is that many homeowners want to save money so they hire their friends to build it or they do it themselves. While this does not always end badly, DIY decks have been one of the biggest reasons for deck accidents. Keep this in mind if you are considering building a deck onto your home.

Here are some tips and advice to remember as you seek to keep your deck safe against deck collapse accident:

  • Always have a professional, licensed deck contractor to do whatever work you need done.
  • Have a building inspector look over your plans for the deck and make sure that everything is up to code.
  • If it is done right the first time, a solid deck that is maintained properly should be good for 30 years.
  • Clean the deck with the proper materials and if there are any signs of mold have it removed.
  • Every couple of years you should reapply wood stain as a protectant against harsh weather.
  • Don't forget to make sure the deck railing is sturdy, as more people are sent to the hospital each year because of this than deck collapses. Also make sure they are up to code.

If you have been the victim of a deck collapse accident or your loved one is in pain because of a homeowner's negligent care of their deck, do not hesitate to retain the financial compensation that may be available to you. Kalka & Baer, LLC is home to Atlanta deck collapse lawyers that are willing and prepared to do anything they can to resolve your case. Working diligently on each case they take on, be sure to contact our firm today to discuss the options available to you. We also offer a free case evaluation for your convenience.