I thought ledgers were for accountants. What is a ledger for the purposes of building a deck on my home in Lake Jackson, TX? | DENENA | POINTS

If you build a freestanding deck on your home in Lake Jackson, TX, you may not have a ledger. About 50% of decks are built as freestanding structures (not truly attached to the house). For many brick homes, where the nature of the brick façade will not sturdily support a ledger and deck without tearing away, free-standing structures may present your best option (ask your contractor and building inspector).

But in the 50% of decks that attach to the home, a well-made ledger provides an absolutely essential support to a safe deck structure. The deck ledger is the main board that anchors the deck to the home. A well-made ledger is one of your best means of preventing a deck collapse at your home in Lake Jackson, TX. You should make sure that it is a solid piece of treated material subject to minimize shrinkage, rot and splintering. The ledger should always be attached with solid bolts, never with nails.

Nails, no matter how big, can tear out. A fair percentage of balcony and deck collapse events come about because the structures were improperly attached with nails instead of bolts. Even the wrong type of bolt can result in a deck collapse. So always put that extra bit of effort into ensuring that your main support attachments at the deck ledger are secure and of the proper types.

Also, you should make sure that you (or your contractor) add flashing to the ledger to prevent water seepage into the house at the deck ledger attachment. Good ledger flashing will also help minimize rotting dangers relating to your home, ledger and deck attachments.

The bottom line is: if you’re attaching the deck to your home in Lake Jackson, TX, don’t skimp on your ledger and flashing. The deck ledger forms the crucial component that anchors the deck to the home and helps you prevent a sudden and harmful deck collapse. Weakness there can allow the whole deck to suddenly break away from the home and tumble down, injuring or even killing whoever is on deck at the time. The deck’s tearing away will also damage your home.

Lack of ledger flashing or improper ledger flashing will facilitate water leakage into the home and consequent rotting, decay, and mold problems. In any case, an inadequate deck ledger and ledger flashing may indeed lead to a deck collapse and some high dollar entries on some accountant’s ledger. Quite possibly it will be the accountant at your home’s insurer