North American Deck & Railing Association Launches Seventh Annual Deck Safety Month
Jim Miller, president of Screw Products Inc., says the topic of deck safety is one best illustrated with a story of summer fun.
“It’s what decks are for; outdoor gatherings, parties, and a chance for family and friends to have fun and be social outdoors,” he says. “There’s a lot of movement and fasteners, stairs, and railings can take a beating.”
Decks that are built to code and undergo regular maintenance are designed to take those beatings, but those that have fallen behind are susceptible to splits, separation from the building, and possible collapse. That’s why May has been named Deck Safety Month® by the North American Deck and Railing Association, and why Miller, an active NADRA® member, and his company participate in education and advocacy efforts centered on deck safety each year.
NADRA publishes a comprehensive deck safety checklist for homeowners to assist with annual check-ups and repairs that outlines the most common – and sometimes most dangerous – deck conditions and how to remedy them. The deck is thoroughly addressed from boards to banisters, as well as lighting, electrical systems, grills, fire pits, or outdoor furniture that might be present.
First and foremost, NADRA® recommends that deck owners check several different areas of the deck to be sure its integrity is still sound. This includes the ledger board, where the deck attaches to the building; support posts and joists under the deck; deck boards; railings, and stairs.
“The critical attachments of a deck are the ledger, rail post and stair attachment,” says Miller, noting that construction lag screws can be used to reinforce ledger boards while DeckLok, a proprietary product offered by Screw Products Inc. that plays a key role in bringing decks up to many regional code thresholds across the U.S. and Canada, guards against instantaneous breaks by absorbing the brunt of the force.
“Lateral movement is a big deal,” Miller cautions. “Decks fall because they pull away from the house, not because they collapse straight down. That’s why fasteners are so important in constructing and maintaining a safe deck; decks are built to withstand weight, but left-to-right and front-to-back movement must be minimized. -morePage 1 of 2 Page 2 of 2
“DeckLok limits lateral movement, especially at the rail post connection down below,” he adds. “The DeckLok bracket will allow for movement while still keeping railings connected, taking the brunt of the force that the railing has taken. Occupants are safe and railing investment saved because of the engineered trifold in the bracket.”
He adds that DeckLok brackets can also be used on stairs while its companion product, RailLok, helps guard against deflection – the amount a railing ‘bounces’ when leaned on.
NADRA® also recommends scanning for loose or corroded fasteners and replacing them with exterior grade and, if needed, pressure-treated-wood compatible screws. For coastal areas, stainless steel fasteners should be used, Miller says.
"It’s a series of checks and repairs that NADRA lays out very clearly,” Miller adds, “and every step is meant to ensure that the decks families and friends enjoy are safe. Checking your deck gives you peace of mind, and it’s a great way to kick-start a great deck season.”
About Screw Products, Inc.
Screw Products, Inc. has been providing quality fasteners backed by customer service since 1999. Its extensive product line offers benefits such as a type 17 auger point, longer bit life, reduced splitting and they counter sink themselves. Orders ship out the same day they are received; for more information, visit www.Screw-Products.com or call (877) 844-8880. Screw Products Inc. products are available online and at retailers across the country