Monday, July 12, 2010

Deck Safety

Have you seen the news reports about decks collapsing and the injuries sustained in Queensland in recent years?
The risks for homeowners with old timber structures are significant.
  • Does your deck sway or creak?
  • Can you see evidence of deterioration to the supporting beams and posts?
  • Are your handrails and supporting posts inadequately secured to walls or concrete?
During downturns in the building industry many house builders turn to the home improvement market to maintain their viability by building small projects. Importantly, that doesn't make them expert Deck Builders. Home Improvement TV specials tend to present the image that a major deck project can be installed in a weekend by any handyman. This is not a realistic representation of what is required to ensure a safe, durable and professional result that will stand the test of time and still look great for many years to come.
There are simple rules of thumb that every home owner should take when buying a home that already has an older deck in place.
  1. Get your deck professionally inspected - before you have the housewarming party.
  2. Remember that the more people standing on your deck, the greater the risk. 7 people were injured in Brisbane in November 2008 and another incident a year later were widely reported and others not so well publicised have resulted in the Building Services Authority acting to tighten Deck Safety Regulations in 2010.

Considering building a deck?

Get quotes from qualified professional deck builders who can prove their specialist expertise and ask to see several projects that were built by them in the past. Most decks look great when newly built, but many rapidly show signs of aging and deterioration to the owners' disappointment.
  • Investigate the advantages of using Steel beams from a reputable supplier. This eliminates the risk of vermin damage. Even relatively new decks become risky structures once termite infestations take hold in structural timber members.
  • Ensure that your deck will be certified as a council approved structure as part of the installation process that your builder should arrange for you.

Have you ever walked bare foot on a deck to be injured by nails that protrude from the timber floor surface? Nails have an ongoing tendency to protrude as the timber deck shrinks with time and exposure to the weather.

  • Any new deck surface should be secured down to the frame with screws, not nails to eliminate such hazards

AZ-Tech Lifestyle Concepts are professional Outdoor Home Improvement specialists in Decks, Patios and all entertaining area structures using the Stratco Outback system. Stratco products are Colourbond Steel framed structures which are all pre-engineered to comply with relevant Australian Standards to ensure structural integrity protected by 15 year factory guarantees.

AZ-Tech recommends the Stratco Outback because of its' premium product guarantees. As Licensed Builders, the new QBSA regulations require us to report any deck that we inspect as part of the quoting process where we identify risks to the structural integrity of an existing structure. Home owners now have an opportunity to be informed about the safety of their deck, if they avail themselves of an obligation free quote from our Licensed builder/designer.


or call 07 3822 5608 for Brisbane wide service.