Recently there were two news stories about deck collapses, one in Summit and one in Wildwood. We are often asked about the safety of a structure. People are concerned that their house or building is going to fall down. We almost always answer this question by asking them how often do you hear about a house or building actually collapsing? When it happens it is on the news because it is so rare. BUT the exception is deck collapses, as they are still rare, but do happen often by our standards. Why? There are several reasons. One is the quality of deck construction varies based on the age. Two, many decks are past their useful life and have rot and damage. Three, the ledger board connection to the house is critical and may not have been done correctly or may have rusted or rotted. Four, decks can be overloaded by many people being on them for a party or event. Here is an article with some useful information and many useful links regarding deck safety. If you have any concerns about the safety of your deck, a structural engineer can observe it to determine its condition.
Simpson Strong-Tie Promotes Deck Safety Month with an Updated Online Deck Resource Center