ST. CLOUD, Minn. - With news of the deck collapse at a home in Forest Lake over the weekend, those who advocate for deck safety are speaking out.
Pat Noonan runs O'Noon Deck & Basement Company in the Twin Cities and he is a member of the North American Deck and Rail Association.
NADRA is a national group that champions deck safety as a mission.
Noonan says, on average, there is a deck collapse almost every single day in the United States.
Noonan says one of the problems is time. More than 40 million home decks in this country were built 20 or more years ago before there were industry standards for safety.
A standard wood deck's lifespan is 20-25 years if properly cared for, Noonan says.
But at issue too, he says, are consumers just not aware that too many people on a typical house deck are a recipe for disaster.
"Decks are only meant to withstand so much weight. They are calculated to carry the weight of the deck, possible snow loads and what is called dead loads which is people on the deck or tables, grills and such. Anytime you overload that area you are asking for problems," Noonan said.
A good rule of thumb is if you are on a deck and it is so crowded you can't easily move from one side to the next, that is too many people, too much weight on board.
Another issue, especially in our part of the country is weather. The temperature swings here in the spring and fall are tough on decks because it causes the wood to expand and contract quite a bit.
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