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May 18th, 2016

How to Participate in Deck Safety Month® 

(Article by Deckorators, Chris Camfferman. First appeared in the May issue of Building Products Digest and The Merchant)

3 ways you can do your part to promote safe outdoor living (and potentially expand sales)

May’s warming weather allows homeowners around the country to start spending extended time outside on their decks. Unfortunately, large numbers of those decks are poorly maintained or unsafe — making the structures vulnerable to collapse and putting homeowners and their guests at risk of serious injury.

Deck failures and resulting injuries can be avoided through regular inspection and maintenance of existing decks, and proper installation of new decks. May is national Deck Safety Month®, and represents a perfect opportunity for dealers to do their part to promote safe outdoor living while potentially growing deck sales.

Following are three ways dealers can participate in Deck Safety Month®:

Serve as a safety resource

The nationwide need for proper inspection, maintenance and remodeling of existing decks has never been greater. According to the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA), an estimated 50 percent of the 40 million residential decks and 10 million commercial decks in the United States are more than 25 years old.

During Deck Safety Month®, dealers can commit to becoming a true safety resource for customers. Make safety a main talking point with contractors and consumers, and be more intentional about making them aware of advancements in building codes and products. Stock the latest deck components — such as decking, railing and balusters — that can bring structures up to code while adding value to homes.

Get the word out

NADRA declared May 2006 the first Deck Safety Month® and is dedicated to raising awareness for necessary deck safety measures. The organization offers members a Deck Safety Month® toolkit featuring a variety of resources dealers can use to promote making decks safe and code compliant.

Promotional materials featured in past Deck Safety Month® toolkits include inspection checklists, a customizable press release template, a customizable video and a social media content calendar. (Visit www.nadra.org for the latest information on promotional tools available for 2016, including a new mobile application for evaluating decks.) Utilize such resources to increase deck safety awareness among customers and show your company cares about the community.

Offer deck inspections

NADRA offers tools to help homeowners perform their own deck checks, but deck inspection demands professional training, know-how and experience. When looking to identify parts of a deck that require attention, there is no substitute for a professional inspection.

During Deck Safety Month®, consider having select staff members undergo training to achieve professional certification in deck inspection. (NADRA offers inspection training and certification for members.) Offering homeowners deck inspection services not only helps ensure that decks are safe and code compliant, it could also lead to new sales opportunities.

This Deck Safety Month®, dealers have an opportunity to help prevent accidents and injuries associated with improperly maintained or unsafe decks. Consider these three Deck Safety Month® ideas — and come up with creative initiatives of your own — to raise awareness for deck safety and possibly tap into a market of decks that need repair or replacement.

About the Author

Chris Camfferman is the director of category marketing for Universal Forest Products, Inc. Deckorators is a brand of Universal Forest Products and the industry leader in decking, railing, balusters, post caps, lighting and more. For more information on Deckorators, visit deckorators.com.

May 5th, 2016

News Release

Contact: Michael Beaudry
NADRA Executive VP
215-679-4884
Info@NADRA.org 

May is Deck Safety Month® – Deck Safety Tips for Homeowners

QUAKERTOWN, PA – The North American Deck and Railing Association declared May as Deck Safety Month®. NADRA’s Campaign for deck safety awareness is an effort to promote outdoor living in a beautiful and safe environment. During Deck Safety Month® the experts at NADRA are offering safety tips for homeowners and encouraging you to Check Your Deck®.

“It’s springtime and we all want to get out and enjoy our decks,” says Bob Lett, vice president of national sales for WOLF Home Products. “NADRA wants to help keep homeowners safe. Deck maintenance means so much more than just cleaning your deck. It means making sure your entire deck structure is in good, safe order. Just like your car, you need to evaluate, ‘tune up’ and keep your deck in safe operating condition on a regular basis. These checklists from NADRA can help you do just that.”

A key element to enjoying your deck for years to come is making sure it is safe. NADRA’s “10-Point Consumer Safety Checklist” is an efficient way to take a good look at the different parts of your deck, with an eye to what might need maintenance, repair or replacement. The checklist can be found at http://bit.ly/NADRA10PointConsumerChecklist.

Homeowners should consider a professional deck inspection. “A professional inspector will thoroughly examine your deck, provide information on your deck’s capacity limits, identify any dangerous problem areas and give you some insight of what to keep your eye on in the future,” says Beaudry. NADRA provides industry professionals with a Deck Evaluation Form that is available here: http://bit.ly/NADRADeckEvaluationForm, along with a new online Deck Evaluation Form (Beta Test). This is the latest iteration of NADRA’s Deck Evaluation Form. It’s easy to use and allows deck professionals the ability to save and print deck inspection results. The online form includes inspection items such as stairs, footings, beams/joists, ledger, boards/surface, rails/guards and more. Visit CheckYourDeck.org to test it out.

“We recommend ASHI-certified home inspectors or a knowledgeable deck builder for inspections of older decks,” says Beaudry. “Our NADRA member deck builders are required to adhere to a code of ethics and comply with state licensing and insurance requirements. This brings peace of mind to homeowners using our NADRA members.”

Deck inspection requires special knowledge, expertise and experience. To find a professional deck builder and inspector, please visit www.NADRA.org.

The North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the necessity for regular inspection and maintenance of existing decks and proper installation of new decks. For more information visit www.NADRA.org

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May 20th, 2015

News Release

Contact: Michael Beaudry
NADRA Executive VP
215-679-4884
info@NADRA.org
 

Deck Safety Tips for Homeowners

QUAKERTOWN, PA – During Deck Safety Month® the experts at the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) are offering safety tips for homeowners and encouraging you to Check Your Deck®.

“It’s springtime and we all want to get out and enjoy our decks,” says Bob Lett, vice president of market development for WOLF Home Products. “NADRA wants to help keep homeowners safe. Deck maintenance means so much more than just cleaning your deck. It means making sure your entire deck structure is in good, safe order. Just like your car, you need to evaluate, ‘tune up’ and keep your deck in safe operating condition on a regular basis. This checklist from NADRA can help you do just that.”

Key areas of the deck to check during Deck Safety Month® include:

1 – Search for split or decaying wood. Check several different areas of the deck to be sure the wood is still sound, including the ledger board (where the deck attaches to the house and a common source of deck failure), support posts and joists under the deck, deck boards, railings and stairs. Look for soft, spongy areas in wood that can indicate insect damage or decay.

2 –  Test railings and banisters. Assure the security of these key pieces of the deck by gently pushing on them to assure they are firmly attached with no “give” that could indicate failure. Then, get the yard stick out. Most codes require a 36” high railing (and usually encourage 42” high railings) with rails placed no more than 4” inches apart (measured from the inside of the rails) to keep small children and pets from squeezing through.

3. Check your fasteners. Over time, fasteners may “pop” from wood, loosen or even corrode. Check nails, screws or anchors and reinforce or replace anything that looks suspicious.

4 – Step carefully. Check each step to make certain of security and lack of decay. If an area behind the stair treads is open, this opening should be no more than 4” high. A fast tip is to also keep stair pathways clear of planters, décor, toys and other items that can present a tripping hazard.

5. Clean up debris. Make it a priority to clean away leaves, branches or other debris from your deck. When left in place, these can be slippery and promote mildew. If you’re already seeing mildew on the deck, or the deck coating has worn away, now is the time to clean and apply a new waterproof coating.

“Your deck and stairs should appear even without sagging, and should not sway or move when tested,” says Lett. “Plus, it’s important to check on anything used on the deck, such as grills, lighting, storage and furnishings. Making these easy evaluations part of your yearly springtime maintenance can help keep your entire family safe.”

For a complete 10-point consumer safety checklist and more deck safety tips from NADRA, click HERE

The North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the necessity for regular inspection and maintenance of existing decks and proper installation of new decks. For more information visit www.NADRA.org 

   ###

April 29th, 2015

QUAKERTOWN, PA – Your deck is the perfect place to enjoy warm weather with friends and loved ones. However, a poorly maintained or unsafe deck could possibly collapse, causing serious injuries to you and your guests. During Deck Safety Month® in May, experts at the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) recommend homeowners Check Your Deck® before starting to plan family activities.
“Our number one priority and message to the public is to ensure that the decks they use are safe,” says Michael Beaudry, executive vice president of NADRA. “Outdoor structures like decks are exposed to sun, rain, snow and extreme temperature changes over the years. The need to maintain and inspect them is critical for keeping decks strong and safe.”

NADRA has created campaigns and educational programs, along with certifications for home inspectors, deck builders, remodelers, builders, code officials, engineers, architects, distributors, lumberyards and manufacturers to improve proper installation practices. The organization has also developed checklists and safety awareness information for consumers to assure they have details available to them to evaluate their decks. The information can be found HERE.

With an estimated 40 million residential and 10 million commercial decks in the United States that are more than 20-30 years old, it’s important for homeowners to check their deck on a yearly basis.

Consumer Checklist

A key element to enjoying your deck for years to come is making sure it is safe and code compliant. NADRA’s “10-Point Consumer Safety Checklist” is an efficient way to take a good look at the different parts of your deck, with an eye to what might need maintenance, repair or replacement. The checklist can be found at http://bit.ly/NADRA10PointConsumerChecklist.

Homeowners should consider a professional deck inspection. “A professional inspector will thoroughly examine your deck, provide information on your deck’s capacity limits, identify any dangerous problem areas and give you some insight of what to keep your eye on in the future,” says Beaudry. “NADRA provides industry professionals with a Deck Evaluation Form that is available HERE.

Older decks require closer scrutiny and regular inspections. Many decks were built before code requirements were established to protect consumers. Some of these older decks may have deck-to-house attachments using only nails instead of the current recommended construction using deck tension hardware that greatly helps in the prevention of ledger failures.

“We recommend ASHI-certified home inspectors or a knowledgeable deck builder for inspections of older decks,” says Beaudry. “Our NADRA member deck builders are required to adhere to a code of ethics and comply with state licensing and insurance requirements. This brings peace of mind to homeowners using our NADRA members.”

Deck inspection requires special knowledge, expertise and experience. NADRA offers training and certification for its members along with ASHI home inspectors and others interested in professional deck inspection. For additional information on NADRA certification classes, click HERE.

The North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the necessity for regular inspection and maintenance of existing decks and proper installation of new decks. For more information visit www.NADRA.org 

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April 8th, 2015

May is Deck Safety Month®  

Please join NADRA in promoting Deck Safety Month® by becoming an official Deck Safety Ambassador! GOLD, SILVER, BRONZE & AMBASSADOR Levels are available! DEADLINE: April 17th, 2015. Download the form HERE, or click the “Become a Sponsor!” Button to sign up on line.

 

A Targeted Solution.

NADRA’s Deck Safety Campaign has been created specifically for consumers and outdoor living professionals. Enhancing your presence in NADRA’s 2015 Deck Safety Campaign ensures that your company’s brand and message are delivered directly to those that matter the most to your business.

A Bigger Purpose.

Supporting NADRA’s 2015 DSM Campaign allows NADRA to continue to educate consumers, industry professionals and inspectors about proper deck installation and annual inspections. NADRA is positioned to use this message as a driving force to grow an industry worth billions of dollars.

Affordable.

Interact with your market – NADRA’s 2015 DSM Campaign gives you unprecedented access at an unbeatable price! Each sponsorship level is valued at over double the price you pay! You’re receiving a 50% discount right from the start.

 

October 29th, 2012

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!

May 15th, 2012

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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May 15th, 2012

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

 

April 25th, 2012

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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March 12th, 2012

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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