As a homeowner, however, it’s important to make sure your deck and patio are in good condition. The last thing you want is for a friend or family member to get injured because your deck or patio is in poor condition. We sincerely hope that you never have to file a claim against your home insurance policy. In our continuing effort to educate and protect our clients (and the general public as good neighbors do), here we offer some safety tips to help you safely enjoy your deck or patio.
- Inspect your deck for decaying wood. If your deck’s wood has been sealed properly, it can provide many years of enjoyment. Eventually, however, wood decays. To find out of the wood on your deck has started to decay, use a spade shovel or pitch fork to gently tap on the wood. If your shovel or pitchfork goes through the wood, it’s a sign of decay and repairs should be made.
- Make sure stairs and railings are secure. Loose railings and stairs that are in poor condition can be hazardous! To determine if it’s still safe, gently push on the railing to make sure it’s securely fastened. Inspect the stairs to see if they’re pulling away from the deck and are still level.
- Trim your trees and plants. If trees or plants are growing into your deck space, trim or prune them.
- Keep your grill or fire pit away from your house. It’s wise to keep always your grill or fire pit away from your house. You never know when the fire in your grill might flare. Never move your grill or fire pit close to your house just because you think it’s cool. Embers may still be smoldering and flare into a fire.
- Inspect deck furniture. My deck furniture takes a beating. I leave it uncovered and on my deck 365 days a year. Before using your furniture for the first time, examine the frame and cushions for loose bolts and rodent or insect damage.
- Clean off mold and algae. Eastern seaboard summers are usually warm and humid. Siding and deck surfaces that get a lot of shade are the perfect place for these allergens to grown. Clean off mold and algae with a product that’s not harmful to you, your pets, and surrounding plants.
- Inspect your patio for uneven pavers. A cold winter can take its toll on concrete patios and pavers. Inspect your patio for cracks and uneven pavers. If you find a problem area, check out the video below for ways to repair them.
- Think about furniture placement. Never place your furniture near a deck railing or pool fence. Young children are nimble and inquisitive. If they stand on this furniture, they could fall over the railing or into a pool.
- Lock your doors. If your patio or deck is surrounded by an enclosed fence and you have small children, make sure the gate is locked. If your deck or patio is away from your front door, make sure it’s locked, as well.
- Patio heater do’s and don’ts. Patio heaters have grown in popularity over the years. If you’re using one on your patio, make sure it’s always on a stable and level surface. Also, if the temperature is below 40°F, don’t use it because the propane may not function properly. Like the grill, keep it away from your house.
Questions? Contact us anytime!