May is National Deck Safety month! A key element to enjoying your deck for years to come is making sure it’s safe for your family and friends. In fact, homeowners should inspect their decks frequently and consider a professional deck inspection at least once a year. Before you have everyone over for your next BBQ, here is a 6-point checklist to ensure the safety of your deck:

Split/Decaying Wood

With winter comes snow, rain, and ice. When all that moisture sits on old plastic or wood decking, it will soak in, and in return, cause splitting or decaying boards. Be sure to check ledger boards, support boards, joists, deck boards, railings, and stairs. If you see any signs of rot or mold, replace the boards immediately. The same goes for any cracks that cannot be sanded down or re-sealed.

Railings & Banisters

Weak or decayed railings won’t cause your desk to fall down, but it can cause you or someone you love to fall off when it’s leaned on. Push on them to make sure they are secure, and make sure their height is up to code (usually 36 inches, minimum) to guarantee maximum safety.

Lighting & Electrical

Make sure you test all lighting and electrical outlets for proper functioning. Clean all of the light fixtures, replace burnt bulbs and be sure electrical outlets and appliances are up to code. Now is a great time to add additional lighting for security.

Furniture

All outdoor furniture should be sturdy and at a safe distance from the edge of the deck. Install childproof latches on storage and on gates to the stairs if you do not have these already.

Maintenance

Take this opportunity to give your deck a Spring cleaning by sweeping around furniture, plants, and grills. Make sure there is no leaves or debris and that the deck is not slippery. Now might be a good time to apply a new coat of stain and sealant.

Check For Loose Fasteners

If your deck shakes slightly when you walk across it, there’s probably no reason for concern. However, shaking can put stress on the fasteners and connectors, such as nails, screws, and anchors. Loose or rotting fasteners can cause a deck to fall apart, causing serious injuries to whoever is on it.

The good news is, BGS carries the tools and materials you need to ensure your deck is safe for years to come. Stop in today for the safest and highest quality boards in the market from Azek, Timberteck or Trex, and receive a FREE propane gas grill!