Avoid Deck Collapse Dangers

While builders are held up to strict building code standards today, this has not always been the case. Many homes built 20 – 30 years ago were built when common practice did not include these current standards, and as such, potentially pose a risk to homeowners or residents who are completely unaware of the hazards. Additionally, some more recent home improvement projects have had decks added by someone with basic carpentry skills who bypassed permitting issues and may lack the specialized knowledge that applies to deck building, leaving the people actually using the deck to rely on luck more than on the stability of the structure.

Both of these common scenarios are very dangerous and costly.

Take Steps To Avoid Deck Collapse Dangers

While Duradek does not typically deal with the actual structure of the deck, we strongly urge Home Owners to hire credible carpenters. Do your research and ask for references. Your Duradek installer will often be able to refer you to a qualified deck builder if they do not perform that specialty themselves. It is also wise to confirm your builder pulls a building permit as that will assist in ensuring the structure is well built and goes through an inspection process with a building inspector.

Once the deck is built, Duradek can step in to ensure the structure remains strong and not damaged by water intrusion to keep your deck safe and secure for many years to come. Duradek believes that only professionals trained specifically in the intricate details of deck waterproofing should be installing your deck waterproofing system and Duradek undertakes extensive 3rd party testing of the performance of Duradek Vinyl membranes. With the combination of a tested product and trained professionals, you can avoid some of the risks of a substandard decking system.

Take for example, the renter of a home in Smyrna, GA. Just two weeks ago, after enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends, the deck of her home collapsed …with 8 people on it at the time! Luckily, in this case there were no life-threatening injuries; however, this incident is just one of many deck collapses in the U.S. each year that reminds us of the importance of deck safety and the necessity of performing safety checks, particularly on older homes.

Deck Collapse
Example of a Collapsed Deck – image from jimfletcher.net

In November, Professional Deck Builder Magazine posted a great article from Editor Andy Engel entitled “Confessions of a Former Deck Builder”, which is a synopsis of a talk he recently gave at a conference in Atlanta. This honest and straight forward recollection of his early days building decks is a realistic account of the history of the decking industry and further highlights the need for regular deck inspections.

North America’s biggest proponent of deck safety is NADRA, the North America Deck and Railing Association. NADRA knows that deck safety is a serious issue and encourages homeowners and builders alike to be aware of the safety checks that should be performed on decks and balconies. According to NADRA, there are 40 million decks in the United States that are over 20 years old, so it is crucial for homeowners to check their decks.


a deck collapse
A deck collapsed while hosting a wedding reception.
image from ajc.com

If you are concerned about the safety of your deck or you would like to ensure your deck waterproofing keeps your home protected, contact an authorized Duradek installer who can visit you for a free estimate on your deck renovation needs.

deck waterproofed by Duradek
A two-level deck with roof grade waterproof protection by Duradek

Duradek provides waterproofing you can rely on. When it comes to waterproofing decks…we’ve got you covered!

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