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3 Signs Your Eco-Friendly Home May Need a New Deck

Shutterstock Photo License - Olesia Bilkei
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There are a lot of things that you need to keep in mind when you are trying to manage an eco-friendly home. One factor that many people overlook is the importance of making sure their deck is environmentally friendly.

Projections show that the decking market will grow by $4.19 billion between 2021 and 2025. It is difficult to project exactly how much people spend on eco-friendly decking services, but that figure is almost certainly growing as more people transition to eco-friendly lifestyles.

Decking can be a great addition to any home. It can serve as a place to relax and entertain guests while increasing the value of your property.

However, many eco-friendly homeowners are more reluctant to invest in decks, because they worry about the use of natural resources and the chemicals that might harm the planet. The good news is that there are a lot of ways to have a deck that is not bad for the environment.

If you have decking, it’s very important to make sure that it’s safe and eco-friendly, and if it’s not, you may need to replace it immediately. For three major signs that you need to replace your decking, keep reading.

1. Footings

When first installing decking, it’s placed on concrete foundations. These are essential, so they’ll need replacing if they start to fail.  The two common reasons for failure are heaving and dropping.

Heaving usually comes as a result of freezing and thawing during winter. Dropping tends to occur if the footings have been installed on disturbed soil. The result of both of these is uneven decking which can then become unstable and potentially dangerous.

In some circumstances, you might be able to repair these, but it’s more likely that you will have to install new decking.

The good news is that there are a lot of eco-friendly materials that you can use for your deck. Mother Earth News has a list of the best.

2. Metal Connectors

Decks are comprised mostly of wood, but metal connectors are generally used to connect the different pieces together, creating strong joins.

Inspect the connectors regularly to make sure they’re all in good condition, and you actually have one at every applicable joint. Missing connectors can make the decking unstable.

There should be a strong metal base connected to all footings to hold the posts in place. When installing a deck all of these bases can benefit from including a stand-off base. These hold the posts above the footing and prevent water from collecting.

If you’re installing new decking you want to make sure all metal bases and connectors are durable and well made. A company like Intsel Steel West can custom manufacture such parts to whatever specifications you need.

Building codes require metal joints in certain connections:

  • Post to beam
  • Joist to beam
  • Joist to ledger

These can be especially helpful if any of the wood rots as they will help hold the decking together until you can replace it.

You might think that using wood that is treated to avoid rot isn’t good for the planet. However, there are actually some environmentally friendly treatments that you can use. This will actually be better for the planet long-term, because you

3. Railings

While railings can serve as an ornamental component of decking, the main reason they are used is for safety. A sturdy railing around the edge of your decking will prevent accidental falls, and if your decking is quite high off of the ground this is crucial.

You can test your railing by simply seeing if it moves at the top. If a bit of force won’t move it at all then it’s considered very safe. If it moves more than an inch or two this is an indication that it’s not too stable and needs replacing.

When installing a deck the railing is one of the main health and safety considerations. You want it to be strong, and it should be built to last. Stairs leading to decking should also have a railing installed.

If you don’t want your railing to ruin a view, cable railing is a good option. It’s still safe and will obstruct the view less than other railing types.

The Importance of Replacing Decking for Your Eco-Friendly Home

There are a lot of things that you have to do when you are trying to run an eco-friendly home. You will need to decide whether or not to upgrade your deck and think about the impact on the environment.

If you notice any of the above signs or anything else that makes you think your decking is unsafe you should replace it as soon as possible. Unsafe decking can break building regulations and is unsafe for anyone using it. You can find ways to make your deck safe without harming the environment.

If you’re interested in more eco-friendly home improvement articles check out some of our other blog posts.

Daniel Gray is a writer at Siege Media and BigRentz.com.

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