As the weather gets warmer, more people take to the outdoors to congregate on patios and decks and not surprisingly more decks fail in the summer months than the rest of the seasons combined. The tragedy with deck collapses is they usually occur during a joyous occasion when friends and family are gathered to celebrate. Deck collapses are attributed to poor craftsmanship and can lead to serious injuries and even deaths. Two million decks are built and replaced every year in the United States and are increasingly popular for new homes. However, inspection experts estimate only 40 percent of all decks are safe.
There are no statistics compiled on the percentage of deck collapses each year in the United States or the reasons why these decks fail. The common reason is the structure being incorrectly secured to the side of a house or establishment. In many cases, these decks are constructed with nails that have smooth sides, and over time with the weight of the deck, can pull out from the building. Wood expands and contracts with temperature and nails that originally secured the structure can become dislodged.
Make sure you consult with a licensed contractor if you’re planning to add a deck to your house. An easy DIY project can turn into a tragedy if appropriate precautions are not taken. Whether your attaching a deck to a structure or building a dock over the water the safest connection is a lag bolt. A lag bolt, which looks like a giant screw, has nine times the resistance than nails. Homeowners are also encouraged to inspect existing decks annually for any signs of decay, rotting wood, or loose railings or steps.
The offices of Rubenstein Law understand Florida law and how to protect your rights. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, please contact your local office today at 1-800-FL-LEGAL. Serving Broward, Miami, Orlando, West Palm Beach and all of South Florida.