Check decks to prevent failure -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Check decks to prevent failure

A new deck in North Myrtle Beach A new deck in North Myrtle Beach

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Thousands of people stay in vacation homes equipped with decks on the Grand Strand every day, but a recent deck collapse in North Carolina is bringing to light the possible risks involved with enjoying some time outside on a deck.

"As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," said Ray Antonino, Titus Titan CEO/President.

When a deck is being built, the local municipality will inspect it if the homeowner has the required permit.

"It's one of the things that gives you, the customer, peace of mind that a second set of eyes is looking over it," Antonino said. 

Although there is no required inspection after the initial completion of the deck, Antonino recommends people hire a home inspector every five years to evaluate it.

"Look for anything that can be improved upon, maybe brought up to local code requirements, things like that," he said. "Just being proactive."

Older decks weren't built with the same reinforcements used today, but those can be installed now. Plus, the salty air near the ocean causes decks to deteriorate faster. Stainless steel nails are recommended instead of galvanized nails.

"They didn't have the brackets that they now do, the actual fasteners that they do," Antonino said. "Just in that alone, by being able to put on some of these fasteners, some of these straps that are designed for reinforcement can bring a lot of value."

Ryan Swaim, general manager of Dunes Realty's vacation rental department, said the company warns renters against going above their recommended occupancy for the home, therefore, preventing the possibility of a deck collapsing due to having too much weight on it.

"That's our main avenue of approach when it comes to preventing incidents like this is to try to limit the number of people who are actually in the house," he said.

Swaim said the company does annual inspections on the houses it rents out and will fix anything the renters bring to its attention, although, he said the reported issues don't usually involve the decks themselves.

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