How Safe is that Deck You’re Standing On?
As the warm weather approaches, many people take to enjoying spending time outdoors. Many homeowners have decks built on their homes where they often entertain friends and family. And many restaurants and nightclubs also have outdoor decks built where their customers can sit.
But how safe are these decks? According to statistics gathered by home inspectors, out of the two million decks that are built nationwide each year, only 40 percent are actually safe.
There are multiple incidents of people being injured because of decks collapsing. Many of these injuries were critical ones and there have sadly also been fatalities in some of these incidents. But many of these accidents could have been prevented if the deck was built properly.
One of the most common reasons for a deck collapsing is that the attachment of the deck to the house or building has been done incorrectly. Many of these decks are attached using bolts with smooth heads instead of “thru” bolts. Thru bolts are galvanized and are installed so they go from the exterior wall of the building/house directly into the supports of the deck. Owners of decks also need to consistently inspect the deck to make sure that everything is intact, especially after a long winter. Look under the deck to make sure that all nuts and bolts are in place. Signs of the wood rotting, such as mold or dampness, are an indicator that the wood is weakening and needs to be replaced. Other problems to look for are any splits and cracks around nails. And don’t forget to check railings of the deck to make sure they’re bolted down securely. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a property owner’s negligence, contact a New Braunfels personal injury attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for any pain and loss you have suffered.