24 Sep 2013 Dartmouth deck collapse | what we learned
The deck collapse that happened in Dartmouth this past week has a lot of people talking about proper construction methods and also wondering about their own safety. Decks are not unlike houses in that they require the same engineering principles to handle the load capacity that they are designed for. The way decks are supported and attached to a home, especially if they are elevated, should receive as much attention and importance as the home itself. After all, they are living spaces and we should feel as safe on them as we would in our living rooms.
And because decks are exposed to weather year-round, extra care must be taken wherever wood makes contact with concrete, or even with other wood, where moisture may stay for long periods of time deteriorating the integrity of the lumber. It’s also important to note that building codes usually delineate the baseline or minimum requirements for construction processes. Conscientious builders and homeowners alike tend to exceed the minimum standards to unsure safety, and just as importantly, a longer lifespan.
For more information on HRM’s requirements for deck construction and permitting you can read the guidelines at halifax.ca/planning/documents/Decks.pdf