If you’ve followed our blog here at Colorado Deck Drain Experts, you know that we talk about safety a lot. We’ve talked about making your deck safe for small children and pets, as well as trying to eliminate safety concerns in general. However, one thing that we haven’t hit on is the safety concerns related specifically to having an elevated deck. Don’t worry though, elevated decks are perfectly safe as long as you hire a professional deck builder to install it for you. But it never hurts to know a little bit more about the safety features on your deck in case you have any questions.

Railing system

Naturally, with an elevated deck, you’re going to need a good railing system that will prevent anyone from falling off the side. It’s one of the most important safety features of an elevated deck and should be at least 36 inches tall and withstand 40 pound of pressure per square foot. Often times, a qualified deck builder will install railings with a steel plate attachment that will increase the strength of these railings. Although railings are put into place for your safety, you should never lean on them.

Frame

Although your deck boards can be made of whatever material you choose like composite, pressure treated lumber, or tropical hardwoods, the frame of the elevated deck is almost always made of pressure treated lumber. Although most deck installers will use UC4B rated lumber, you may be able to choose to have a stronger wood installed like heavy-duty UC4A lumber. This wood will resist rotting and damage.

Footing

A lot of the strength that holds up the frame of your deck comes from the concrete footing that surrounds each post. If wind or other weather conditions push on the frame, the footing will remain stable in the ground. These concrete footings are usually 8 to 12 inches thick. The thicker it is, the more stable your deck will be.

Attachment to your home

Although it’s tempting to think of your deck as part of the home, it’s actually separate and is always built after your home is complete. An important step in this process is to firmly attach the deck to your home so that it doesn’t fall away from it or to either side. An elevated deck is at a higher risk of falling over because it’s more susceptible to wind and other elements.

Joint Spans

Joint spans are used to support weight on the deck. The deck may begin to bow downward if joints aren’t used liberally enough. There are deck building codes in place to ensure that every deck builder is meeting certain standards and not skimping on these sorts of things. If you are concerned about this, speak with your deck contractor to make sure they’re meeting or exceeding the required joint span coverage.

Contact Colorado Deck Drain Experts

When it comes down to elevated deck safety, it may be complicated to those who haven’t had a deck installed previously. However, if you’re concerned that your deck contractor may not be following deck building codes, ask them to provide the necessary paperwork or walk you through the codes before starting with deck installation. Another aspect of your deck’s safety is deck drainage. Although these aren’t typically required or installed with the deck itself, they can be a helpful addition, not only to the safety of your deck but to prevent the area under your deck from getting wet. This allows you to have more space to enjoy the outdoors, all year long. Contact Colorado Deck Drain Experts today.