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Expert Introduction Into Residential Deck Failure

Expert Introduction Into Residential Deck Failure


deck failure model
Deck failure diagram


Deck failure is not an unusual experience. At least everybody might have experienced it at some point in time, whether you know it or not. Consumer product safety commission has reported more than 6000 injuries due to deck failures annually. It is imperative that there are improvements to residential deck failure for general public protection. Here are the common causes of deck failure and stepwise guidelines to avoid any future loss.


General Anatomical Features of Deck


The deck seems a rather simple thing, but its detailed image above can be described by using various technical terms. It is necessary for a layman to acquaint himself with technical structures of the deck. These terms are widely known to the industries and the deck engineers:


A) Band Joist – It is the point/section of the building to where the deck is attached directly.

B) Ledger Board – It is long horizontal board/structure that attaches the deck to the building.

C) Deck Joist(s) – These are the boards that are used to prepare the deck floor.

D) Support Post(s) – these are the wooden or iron limbs that provide vertical support to the deck.

E) Railing Post(s) – the wooden boards that provide the lateral support for the safe railing.

F) Railing – a series of vertical & horizontal boards that are used for the protective and long-term installation of the deck.

G) Stringers – supporting structure that carries stairs.

We will dive further into detail about each of these categories in deck structure and how they play an integral piece in residential deck failure.


Band Joist failure (Pull away from the building):

Essentially what happens is that band joist failure occurs detaching the whole deck from the building. This is caused by the improper attachment of ledger board to the wall. The reason behind this is the use of bolt that is of an improper size and the type as well. Spacing and the depth of bolts also matters a lot. Some important advice about preventing this can be done with a simple check list. Have you have prevented water damage by using the flashing? What about the quality of the cementing material of the wall, where the deck was attached? Have you asked your general contractor about this? What sort of deck-building equipment have you been using?

Improper Support Posts:
Installation of improper Supporting posts also leads to deck failure. The question arises about the depth of the base. Shallow depth seldom withstands the environmental extremes. Bracing is mostly neglected that results into the early failure. Wood quality is also concerned for the supporting posts.

Failures of Railing:
Railing failure is the cause for more injuries than any other part of the deck. Deck failure investigation primarily pin points railing failure as the number one problem. Be weary about the railing posts and that they should be modified at the base. Spacing and height of the posts also matter. Also, make sure that you are using the highest quality building products.

The deck is not a work of a carpenter, rather it is a professional job done by a deck engineer or professional architect who understands the principle of architecture. Heavy snowfalls, a load of the people, thunderstorms and many more challenges by natural disasters really test the durability of the decks. Hence, your deck must be created by careful designing in order to withstand anything that is thrown it’s way.

Annual Review:
The month of May has been declared as deck inspection month by North American deck association. A list of the safety measures or inspections must be carried out on annual basis to avoid the sudden deck failure:
1.) Check for the split or decayed wood.
2.) Review all connection points particularly the railing.
3.) You must satisfy yourself about supporting post and the base.
4.) Observe that if the hand railing is not frayed.
5.) Observe, if the deck is not leaning towards a particular angle.


Most Importantly – Make Sure You Have the Best Product

When building your deck you need to make sure that the products being used are without a doubt the best available. There are a variety of products that provide reliability but NexxSteel is our number 1 recommendation for all things decking. It has been developed for the past 20 years and provides maintenance decking for whatever your decking needs may be.