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Curious about the affect snow can have on the safety of your deck?

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One question that may pop into your mind as the snow sticks to the ground this winter is, "Can my deck handle snow build-up?" If you live in colder areas where snow can buildup, the safety of your deck can be something of a concern. For example, "The winter of 1996 saw an unusual amount of snowfall in North Dakota. As it continued to snow in the Fargo area . . . deck after deck collapsed under the weight of the accumulating snow" (Morse).
Here are a few things you can do to insure the safety of your deck under snowloads.
1. Build a structurally sound deck to begin with!
If you are building a deck it is crucial that you follow all building codes. Products byWahoo Decks, such as DryJoistEZ structural deck drainage system, comply with all current International Building Codes. Wahoo Decks also offers assistance with the engineering of building decks by providing 3rd party engineering reports for load span capabilities. Just by knowing the limitations of the decking material you are using can make the difference between having a structurally sound deck or an unstable one. Learn more about the load span of Wahoo Decks' aluminum deck materials by clicking here.
2. Seasonal Inspections
Inspecting your deck will help you catch any red-flags before they turn into a problem. It is important to inspect before winter so that you can help to prevent accidents or even a collapse. Also, check your deck before beginning to use it in the spring and summer, especially if you had a heavy snowfall during your winter months. As the saying goes, "better safe than sorry!"
Click here for great tips to go by when inspecting the safety of your deck.
3. Clear excessive snow routinely
Use materials that will not scratch or otherwise harm your decking surface (especially AridDek or other Wahoo Decks aluminum deck boards), such as, plastic shovels, push brooms, and warm water. Clearing your deck in the winter months will help prevent harm from snow and ice; it will also keep your deck looking great for spring.
Deck safety is a priority when it comes to manufacturing Wahoo Decks aluminum decking, such as, AridDek, DryJoist, DryJoistEZ, and Wahoo Rail. If you are engineering a deck that anticipates snow loads visit Wahoo Decks online. You can contact us to learn more about all of Wahoo Decks' aluminum decking products or call at 1 (877) 270-9387 if you have any questions.
Sources:
Deck-Collapse-Report by Michael Morse, Brittany Corwin, Robert Morse, and Andrew Johnson
Is Your Deck Ready for Winter?
Avoid Deck Collapse: Make Sure Your Deck Can Handle Snow and Ice
  • curious about the affect snow can have on the safety of your deck, decks, home maintenance repairs

To see more: http://wahoodecks1.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/how-snow-affects-the-safety-of-your-deck-wahoo-decks-

Got a question about this project?

  • Miriam I
    Miriam I Bay Shore, NY
    on Dec 21, 2012

    This is great info. Thank you so much!

  • Straight Nails Construction
    Straight Nails Construction Cumming, GA
    on Dec 21, 2012

    This is very good.... especially depending on the age of the deck. IBC has changed over the years, and decks that are older in nature are just not built the same as ones today. The reports of overloads of people on decks that collapse are too numerous to mention. I just completed a bid for a potential customer where three decks were built (two additions) incorrectly. The customer wanted a "repair" bid, and I respectfully declined, knowing my integrity and liability were on the line. I gave him a very expensive "rebuild" quote (not expensive from my cost perspective, just a lot of money to remove and rebuild a two tier deck), which I know I will never hear from him again. For all readers, I highly recommend reading the link that Wahoo decks has posted, then contact a qualified contractor if you have questions.

  • Wahoo Decks
    Wahoo Decks Gainesville, GA
    on Dec 21, 2012

    Thanks....we enjoy your comments and we will continue to be advocates for bringing awareness to the importance of deck safety. It is all to often overlooked in the structural engineering of a home. Keep up the good work!

  • KMS Woodworks
    KMS Woodworks Nederland, CO
    on Dec 21, 2012

    For some more info...check out this article I wrote. http://www.networx.com/article/7-reasons-your-deck-could-collapse Here is a pic of one of the beefier decks I built a few years ago.

  • Wahoo Decks
    Wahoo Decks Gainesville, GA
    on Dec 21, 2012

    Kevin, great article, we will share it as well. Thanks again for including the aluminum decks boards in your temperature test (even though I am sure that is what spurred it). Click the link below for another great article by Kevin. http://www.networx.com/article/we-tested-it-how-hot-materials-get

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