How to Prepare Your Deck for Hurricane Sandy

Protect the inside and outside of your home before a hurricane comes!

With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the Northeastern US, here are some critical things you must do to prepare your deck:

Article by: Advantage Trim and Lumber

  1. Bring in all planters and any loose items – Any loose item left on or even under your deck will turn into a missile in the midst of hurricane force winds. You might be tempted to tie down certain items, but we caution against this since it is a temporary solution that most times won’t stand up to the 75+ MPH winds of a hurricane.
  2. Dunk your patio furniture – A tip that most Floridians know is that a secure place to store patio furniture is in the pool. That’s right. Carefully place your metal or plastic patio furniture inside your pool and you won’t have to worry about it being swept away or damaged. If your outdoor furniture has a glass top, or if you don’t have a pool, bring it inside.
  3. Secure any loose boards or railing! – If you notice any loose railing, spindles, or deck boards, secure them with the proper fasteners. The last thing you want is to undertake any preventable deck repairs. Don’t bother using nails since they offer no lasting holding power. Use stainless steel screws meant for outdoor use only.
  4. Don’t go out on your deck during the storm, ever – Remember just because you took the time to prepare your deck for a hurricane doesn’t mean that your neighbors did. Don’t go out on your deck during the storm since flying debris can inflict major damage to you and your family. The last thing you want is for someone to get injured and no way to get medical attention.

If you live anywhere near the coast of Delaware, Washington DC, Maryland, New Jersey and New York, we encourage you to heed any and all warnings. Remember, even if you’re not worried about the wind, water damage, especially near the coast, storm surge is a reality. Take care and stay safe!

NADRA Produces Check Your Deck® Video Campaign

New NADRA Video Educates Consumers about Deck Safety Month®

May 15, 2012 – Quakertown, PA | in 2006 NADRA, The North American Deck and Railing Association declared May as Deck Safety Month®. NADRA’s Deck safety program is an effort to save lives and prevent injuries.

After 6 years of promoting May as Deck Safety Month®, the association decided on a new method of reaching the masses this year. The new video was produced using images and text to drive a strong message to consumers about NADRA’s Check Your Deck® evaluation forms and the 10-point checklist. The video can be found on NADRA’s website at www.NADRA.org. The association posted the video to their YouTube channel found under NADRAYT and to their Social Media fan pages.

Michael Beaudry, Executive VP of NADRA states, “Our number one priority to the public is to ensure that the decks they and their families enjoy are safe. NADRA takes this responsibility seriously, and has created campaigns and education programs and certifications for home inspectors, code officials, engineers, architects, builders, distributors, lumberyards and manufacturers to improve proper installation practices along with checklists and safety awareness information for consumers to follow.”

The video can be used in making the consumer aware of the necessity of choosing a professional deck contractor, providing regular maintenance and inspection, and knowing the limits of the deck structure.

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ICC’s Backyard Safety

May 15, 2012 | There’s a lot of information out there on the web about backyard safety, from those aimed at providing “parenting advice” to medical websites aimed at keeping bandages on the shelf.  Another such source is the International Code Council (ICC), the publisher of our nations leading model construction codes. In the big scheme of things, decks are a small part of our built environment.  With ICC providing codes and standards for large commercial complexes, like hotels and retail centers, it’s nice when our industry of backyard decks gets some attention…and not just in new code provisions.  For Building Safety Month, May of every year, ICC is focusing attention on decks and outdoor living…a good sign that our industry is vibrant, growing and important to our culture.

The article behind this link provides a nice call to owners and property managers that decks don’t last forever, or may have been built substandard to begin with.  Too many of our fellow Americans don’t realize the need to regularly maintain and inspect their decks…and that means more than a swipe of a staining rag.  They often dismiss the very real hazards that backyard decks, grills and pools inadvertently create for us.  Public services messages like this, from non-profit organizations, are there for our benefit and our neighbor’s benefit.  Take a read, get ideas, get inspired and share this message.  Just forward the link.

http://www.iccsafe.org/safety/Pages/Backyard.aspx

 

What’s The Concern?

April 24, 2012 | Why would a deck builder be so afraid of trying a new material for his next project? Isn’t being up on the latest technology a dream come true. Perhaps, but are you taking risk in the process? Some guys I know would say yes to that. They would no sooner use a new product then throw themselves off a bridge. Some I know embrace the new stuff and love it. I have been both of those guys. With a few years under my belt and input from so many of my counterparts, my stance is that I will try a new product in a limited application until some time passes and I am reassured that it will last. What about those new nifty labor warranties? I am a huge advocate for that and it does help me to decide how much if any of a new product I will sell. But let’s dive into this a little more.

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Keeping Your Deck in Check

March 12, 2012 | Decks are a great “value add” for residents, but property managers face plenty of risks—including having a deck collapse—if their deck isn’t regularly inspected and maintained. It’s happening more frequently than many property managers and homeowners realize. Between 2003 and 2007, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 224,740 injuries caused by outdoor decks and porches. “What’s happening across this country is an epidemic at this point,” says Michael Beaudry, executive vice president of the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA), adding that “in most cases if a deck fails, it’s a matter of neglect.”

The Ledger Connection

Common deck failures include a stair collapsing or a railing giving way. Of all the parts of a deck, “the most notoriously overlooked has been the ledger connection,” says Glenn Mathewson, a former deck builder and technical advisor to NADRA and International Code Council-certified Master Code Professional. The ledger connection is the board that connects the deck to a home or property, which can rot away, causing the deck to completely collapse. But, adds Mathewson, “poor construction and a lack of standards for construction is a large contributor to the problem.”

Not maintaining and regularly inspecting the deck, especially the ledger, puts your deck at risk for a collapse—and puts your occupants at risk for injury. “The lack of maintenance and the lack of knowledge of poor condition of the materials would be a due-diligence risk,” Mathewson says. “It would be like allowing the paint to peel off a house, but with much more drastic results.”

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