Is Your Outdoor Deck Really Safe? Three Questions to Ask

IMG_2776The outdoor deck is still one of the most enjoyable amenities for any homeowner today. It provides valuable space for entertaining, outdoor cooking, or even exercise activities like stationary cycling or yoga. There are many uses for these structures, and they also look great. That’s why some many homeowners are constantly adding or restoring their outdoor decks.

As useful as outdoor decks can be, it’s dangerous to overlook the safety concerns they present. Here are a few examples:

  • An outdoor deck is built five or more feet off the ground and has begun to “creak” or move, especially when more weight is placed on the surface
  • A homeowner moves into a home with an aging deck, and the frame/support structure shows signs of weakness
  • A relatively new deck was built by previous homeowners or a questionable contractor, and you aren’t sure about the overall safety/integrity of the structure

In all of these cases, taking a closer look at the safety of your outdoor deck is a good idea. It’s difficult to know exactly what (if any) safety issues you may be facing, so it helps to consult an outdoor deck specialist who can inspect your deck and identify any problem areas. Before you take that step, however, it’s a good idea to ask yourself three basic questions.

Is the surface rotten and/or cracked?

If the surface of your deck shows signs that the wood is actually rotted or cracked in places, safety is definitely an issue. Rotten wood can easily cave when too much weight is place on it, and cracks can also develop into serious safety concerns. One piece of good news: You might not have to tear your deck down just because the surface is in rough shape. As long as the underlying support structure is in good condition, it may be a good candidate for professional deck resurfacing—which is quite a bit cheaper and faster than building a totally new deck.

Does it move under your feet?

When a deck moves or wobbles underfoot, in a tangible or noticeable way, there are safety issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible. In fact, in most cases it’s better to keep everyone off the deck until safety issues can be identified and resolved by a qualified outdoor deck specialist.

Is your deck held together properly?

Take a close look underneath your deck and take note of how the structure is held together. Do you see a variety of connectors, nails and heavy duty screws? Or does it seem to be held together using only nails? A properly conducted deck will make use of heavy duty connecting systems to make sure everything holds in place over the long term. If a visual inspection indicates that the connectors are weak, corroded, or otherwise insufficient, it may be time to call an outdoor deck specialist.

What to do next

When outdoor decks and built and maintained properly, with the help of qualified professionals, there’s very little that can or should go wrong in terms of safety. At the same time, many homeowners let several years pass without subjecting their outdoor decks to routine safety inspections, and maintenance considerations such as resurfacing, refinishing or sanding and staining. When in doubt, it helps to have a reputable outdoor deck specialist on your side.

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Client Testimonials

J.Widener from Newton, NJ

“Outstanding team. Very impressed with the whole process and the most with my new beautiful deck!”

S.Long from Franklin Township, NJ

“The deck looks FANTASTIC. I still can’t believe that Deck Guardian was able to resurface my old, ugly deck. Our neighbors have stopped by to comment on how great the deck looks. The attention to detail, work ethic and professionalism set this company apart. I highly recommend Deck Guardian!”

M.Lewis from Fleminton, NJ

“We have received numerous compliments from Neighbor’s and friend’s who think that the finished project looks terrific. Not only do I appreciate the “quality job”, but I really appreciate the professional manner Skip handled all the details!”

L.Cohen from West Orange, NJ

“When I came home yesterday, I could not believe how amazing my newly resurfaced deck looked. Crew did an amazing job. It was also a pleasure to work with your salesperson, very professional and knowledgeable!”

S.Smith from Chester Township, NJ

“I’m completely impressed. I have dealt with my share of contractors as I have been updating my home for several years. Deck Guardian gets the gold medal. Deck Guardian restored my 10 year old deck & fence to a brand new condition. I am amazed!”

P.Tang from Westfield, NJ

“Deck Guardian Team did a good and pleasant job to give us a professional service and a beautiful new deck, without replacing it. We love the color and the way it feels like. Highly recommended!”

Kathryn Barchi from Piscataway, NJ

“My husband and I had recently moved into a new home and quite quickly we learned of so many things that both us and the home inspector missed prior to the purchase; the deck being one huge item. We quite desperately wanted to use our deck and know that it was safe for us, our kids, our pups, and our guests, which in the original state, was definitely not the case. Deck Guardian to the rescue! The Deck Guardian team, from the free estimate to the point of project close, were quite wonderful to work with entirely. They even pointed out additional things we had missed with regards to the safety of our deck. Of course, best of all, the Deck Guardian team was able to work within our budget, while giving us back our deck with a new lease on life. Deck Guardian far exceeded our expectations and for that, my husband and I can not thank them enough!!!”

Jessica Ravitz from Skillman, NJ

“Deck Guardian completed an amazing deck replacement project for us in less than 2 weeks after we signed our contract. Not only did they provide an extremely competitive price, we got a beautiful deck that so greatly exceeded our expectations! Everyone at Deck Guardian is wonderful – from the estimator, the crew and the administrative staff – very friendly, professional, meticulous and hard working. We are so pleased and give the highest recommendation!!! Thank you Deck Guardian!”

Paul Cichello from Bridgewater, NJ

“I contacted Deck Guardian and was given an estimate the very next day. The representative was very knowledgeable and fair. The workers were polite and professional. We are satisfied with our new deck and would recommend Deck Guardian to anyone who wants quality work.”