If you have a wooden deck on your property, you may be wondering how to make it the safest it can possibly be. So, you’ve installed railing and maybe even gates if you have littles ones, and you’ve take the time to make sure it’s treated and protected from the weather.
You’ve done all the things you’re supposed to do, but you still feel vulnerable with this massive wooden structure in your yard. What happens if there’s an accident with your grill or the tiki torches get out of hand? Will you be protected? How do you fireproof a wooden deck anyway?
Fireproofing an Existing Wooden Deck
Fireproofing a wooden deck is a great idea and it really will offer protection and peace of mind. However, if you already have an existing deck in place, this may be impossible to do.
You can take steps to lessen the chance of fires such as:
- Move all fire sources off and away from the deck if possible.
- If you have an outdoor grill on the deck, always stay with it during use and make sure the fire is extinguished before leaving it unattended.
- Have water hoses and fire extinguishers nearby to take care of any fires immediately.
- Remove plants, vegetation, and combustible materials from under the deck and 5 feet around the deck and home.
- Install noncombustible fiber-cement sheathing on the bottom of the joints of the deck but be sure to leave a way for water and rain to drain through.
Taking these steps to fireproof a wooden deck won’t completely protect you from disaster. You may be able to reduce the strength and heat of the fire with these steps, and maybe even protect your house from it. But the thing to remember is it’s not easy to fireproof an existing wooden deck and in most cases, it’s better to go with a new deck installation that allows you to fireproof from the beginning.
Build Fireproofing into a New Deck Installation
Having a new deck designed & built with fireproofing in mind will ensure that your deck is better protected against fires. There are many different materials available that are noncombustible and allow you to have a beautiful, useful deck without having to worry about it going up in flames every time you light the grill.
In addition to having fireproofing from the beginning, some of the above tips such as keeping fire extinguishers around and clearing plants and combustible materials from around the deck are still great ideas to reduce your risk of fire.
The truth is, it’s much easier to have fireproofing done while building a deck than trying to add it to an existing deck later. You may not want to tear up a good deck but keep in mind that it only takes one fire and the deck (and likely your home) will be gone.