Maintenance, proper materials key to safe decks

Deck Safety

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Over 2 million decks are built each year in the United States, but according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, only 40 percent of them are considered completely safe.

Deck safety was brought to light after the recent collapse of a deck at a North Carolina beach house. At least 21 people were reportedly injured.

Home building officials say that deck collapses can be prevented by utilizing the proper building materials, especially when it comes to fastening the deck to your house.

Todd Areno, of Areno Construction, said, "We like to try and use a galvanized bolt or an exterior screw."

Routine cleaning and maintenance are essential for preserving the life of your deck.

Remove any signs of mold and apply wood stain at least once every two years to protect it from the weather.

Officials say it's important never to overload your deck, and always be aware of capacity.

As an added resource for homeowners, the North American Deck and Railing Association offers information on the best building materials for outside decks, as well as a safety checklist. Visit for more.

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