Connections. Maybe because of social networking, the word “connections” often give us a warm, fuzzy feeling. But just as failing to make regular updates to your Facebook page may weaken your social connections, failing to pay proper attention to installation and maintenance of your Lake Jackson, TX balcony and deck connections can weaken those supports as well. Maybe life is all about strengthening connections.
In any case, weak connections are the number one cause of failure in decks and balconies. Age isn’t always a key factor in deck collapse. Cheap or poorly thought out connections are the number one causes of failure in new decks and balconies too.
Connections that cause a deck collapse fail most often in:
1. The connection of the deck’s ledger board to the house (which can cause the deck to pull away from the house);
2. The connection of the railing to the deck (which can cause the railing to suddenly fall away from the deck if leaned upon); and
3. The connection of the flashing to the ledger (which can cause rot in the house and deck supports).
Some of the things that you can do to ensure a strong and enduring deck are:
1. Build a well-constructed freestanding deck instead of attaching your deck directly to the house (which provides opportunities for connection weaknesses to grow over time);
2. NEVER use nails for your deck attachments. Always use bolts in your Lake Jackson, TX deck attachments (studies show that the majority of collapsed decks were attached with nails rather than bolts. Nails, no matter how long, can always pull out).
3. If you build an attached deck, make sure that the flashing is properly installed and of good quality. And even though it isn’t customary, install flashing on the bottom of the ledger board so that rising water can’t compromise the wood behind the ledger attachment. Recent years have seen catastrophic floods in places that never expected to deal with such issues. So unless maybe you’re in Texas during the summer of 2011, you can’t be sure that your deck and its attachments won’t have to cope with the dangers of rising water. Lake Jackson, TX may generally experience the same drought conditions as North Texas, but it’s also along the coastal bend in line for potential hurricanes.
4. Get a reputable inspector to inspect your deck. A knowledgeable inspector could spot connection problems before they lead to deck collapse and injuries or fatalities. A good and timely inspection could save you the burden of costly lawsuits and insurance payouts later. The inspection could also save your own health and well being.