By Jeff Clemetson | Editor
With outdoor living so prominent in sunny San Diego, it is no wonder that there are so many decks attached to homes and apartments. Unfortunately, not all decks are built to withstand heavy use, termites and other factors of wear and tear. And sometimes, bad decks collapse and lead to injuries.
May is Deck Safety Month and to bring attention to the difference between a well-built deck and a shoddy one, Best Rate Repair Company held a demonstration on deck construction on April 26 in the parking lot in front of San Carlos Hardware. The demo was also filmed for the “Approved Home Pros” TV show that airs on the local ABC affiliate.
To make the point between good and bad decks, Best Rate had a flatbed with two decks set up — one built correctly and one built poorly.
Best Rate Repair Company President Jeff Mudd first described a proper deck build — using brackets, fasteners, joints and painted wood to prevent rot.
“We have another deck,” he said pointing to the bad deck build. “We had some help with that. We brought in Chuck in a Truck and helper Vern in a Van to help build this one … no brackets, no post brackets, screws holding it all together.”
After describing the difference between the two, the poorly built deck was collapsed to show how something like an earthquake can take down a bad deck. The deck collapsed, not from the posts, but from the point where the deck would have attached to the side of a home, which is the most common way a deck fails, Mudd said.
“We wanted to give people an understanding [of] how important it is to build a deck properly,” said Best Rate Marketing Director Terry Harris “You may be saving a couple bucks here today but what happens to your home if someone gets hurt on your property?”
Harris said that the problem of poorly built decks is quite common.
“That’s why we do a lot of repairs on decks and also why we do a lot of new builds, because we get there and [the old deck] is just so destroyed to the point we have to dump and demo them and we rebuild because people put them together real quick and then don’t maintain them,” he said.
But poorly-built decks may soon become a thing of the past. In January, California passed SB 721, which requires properties with four or more units to have any decks inspected every six years by a certified deck inspector. Harris added that all the estimators at Best Rate Repair Company have been certified by the North American Deck and Railing Association.
“That’s what SB 721 is all about, making sure everybody’s up to code and no more people [are] getting hurt off of decks,” Harris said, adding that the requirement for inspections is only for commercial and not residential properties.
“But I do see it coming,” he added.
— Reach Jeff Clemetson at firstname.lastname@example.org.