How Regular Deck and Fence Maintenance Help Ensure the Safety of Your Kids and Pets

calander Jun 11 , 2021 user-iconAnderson Painting
Damaged deck in Raleigh

Your deck is meant to be a place of comfort, and your fence is supposed to be a protective barrier. Without proper maintenance, however, these secure exterior features can become hazards of their own. And if you’ve got children and/or pets around, they are more at risk of being harmed by these features than anyone else. Staying on top of tasks like fence and deck staining/painting, cleaning, and repairs can go a long way toward keeping your loved ones safe when near your deck or fence. Here’s how regular deck and fence maintenance help to ensure the ongoing safety of your kids and pets.

The Benefits of Deck and Fence Maintenance

Prevent Wood Rot

While decks and fences can be constructed of various materials, most are built from wood due to how cost-effective and versatile this material is. And while wood is relatively durable, it’s also vulnerable to many environmental forces. Over time, your exterior wooden features may deteriorate from some combination of rot, mold, or mildew. As a result, these features will become soft and weak -- a rotted deck may even collapse, especially when undergoing enough pressure. Moreover, fungal spores from rotting wood can lead to respiratory and skin-related issues when inhaled, ingested, or touched. Coating these features with fresh fence/deck stain every 2-3 years or as needed will help to fortify them and prevent rot from occurring.

Minimize Tripping Hazards

Like any other floor, deck flooring can lead to slips, trips, and falls if it’s not attended to. Dust and moisture can create slick surfaces, loose objects and debris can cause one to trip, and loose or missing boards can cause someone to fall through, especially if they have small/thin feet and legs. As for the first two issues (slippery surfaces and tripping hazards), regular deck cleaning will help keep everyone safe. Deck surfaces should be cleared of garbage daily, swept at least once a week, mopped periodically, and cleaned via power washing about twice a year to powerfully remove grime, mold, and other stubborn contaminants. In regards to loose/broken boards, these must be secured, repaired, and/or replaced as quickly as possible to retain a sturdy floor.

Get Rid of Protruding Nails and Rough Edges

Most decks are held together by fasteners like nails and screws. As things shift around, these fasteners can become loose and begin to jut out. If your kids or pets aren’t careful, they can easily get poked or scraped by these objects. Worse yet, rusted metal nails and screws can cause tetanus, a serious illness. So make sure these fasteners are flush with your fencing and decking. Of course, nails and screws aren’t the only hazards that can lead to cuts and scrapes; rough wooden edges can also be abrasive, causing splinters. If your deck or fence is getting rough around the edges, do some sanding to smooth things over. This way, even if your kids or pets rub against these features, the risk of painful outcomes is minimal.

Keep Pesky Pests Away

Many pests find refuge (or food) in wooden decks and fencing. Wood-boring insects, for instance, might make themselves right at home in your deck if you don’t take preventative measures. While certain pests are relatively harmless to your property, pets, and kids alike, others can weaken your deck and fence’s integrity while putting your loved ones in harm’s way. Wood-boring bees and wasps, for instance, can become quite nasty and sting those nearby. Taking good care of your fence and deck by cleaning it, staining it, and applying pest-resistant products will keep many of these nuisances at bay, preserving your property and protecting your people.

Keep Your Fence Sturdy and Tall

Fences are both decorative and functional. And if you’ve got kids and pets, you should take your fence’s functionality seriously. After all, kids and pets can get around, under, or over a failing fence. To prevent such dangerous escapes, your fence must remain tall, firmly in place, and free from breaches (including underneath). Clean and stain/paint your fence to help protect it from deterioration and make necessary repairs or replacements if any components begin to loosen or rot. Additionally, consider installing a welded wire mesh fodder underneath your fence (about a foot deeper than the fence’s base) to stop pets (or kids) from digging underneath and getting out that way.

If you’re looking to get the most out of your outdoor spaces this season while protecting your kids and pets, Anderson Painting offers a variety of deck/fence maintenance and renovation services. To learn more about us and all we do, call today at 919-610-1855 or email us at info@andersonpaintingnc.com!