In the summer, the deck is a great spot to spend time with family and friends. Sit back, unwind, enjoy the sun and fresh air, and watch the kids and pets play in the yard. However, when the deck is not properly maintained, it can pose risks to your family. Here are a few easy ways to make your deck safe.
Examine the Deck from a Kid’s Point of View
To make your deck safe for kids and pets, inspect the area from their perspective. Kneeling on the deck will help you find issues that could be hazardous. Look for splinters, cracks, rotting wood, and nails or screws that are coming loose. Refinish, replace, and secure boards as needed to eliminate hazards.
Make Your Deck Safe with Gates and Railings
Install a gate at the top of the stairs and make sure the railings are strong and stable. Purchase an auto-locking outdoor gate that is waterproof and rust-proof. The space between the slats needs to be narrow enough so kids or pets won’t fall through or get stuck. When you know the deck is solid and secure, you can relax worry-free.
Make a Safe Grilling Area
One of the benefits of having a deck is enjoying cookouts with your friends and family. To stay safe, place your grill out of the way and away from your home and other structures. Store grilling utensils, charcoal, and propane tanks in a secure location away from pets and children.
Choose Plants Carefully
Plants add to the decor and liven up the deck. Curious pets and very young children might be tempted to pull off the leaves or flowers. When adding greenery to your backyard deck, choose plants that are non-toxic to children and pets.
Perform Regular Maintenance to Make Your Deck Safe
The key to safety is improving the condition of the deck. Your backyard space is exposed to sun, rain, and snow, all of which take a toll on the decking materials. Get into the habit of routinely inspecting the supports and boards. You’ll notice issues early so you can make repairs before problems become worse.
Wash the surface of the deck and sand the wood, if needed. Check for loose screws and protruding nails and reinstall the fasteners. Replace weak or damaged boards to keep the deck safe and secure.