Deck dangers around Brisbane,

Deck dangers around Brisbane, by Peter Weddell, owner/operator of Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service and Queensland Building Inspection Service, QBIS.

Examples of why it is not advisable to construct a deck without a roof above it.

  • A deck without a roof above for protection is not practical.
  • No many would consider it comfortable to try and relax on a deck that is exposed to rain and extreme summer sun.
  • Exposed timber rots very quickly (even if treated).
  • Structural supports of a deck also deteriorate rapidly, often without you knowing.
  • Decks that are rotting can be potentially dangerous and may collapse, causing serious injury or death. Often without warning!

Rotting deck dangers

Flooring, joists and bearer of this exposed deck are rotting significantly causing a potentially dangerous situation from collapsng.

Deck dangers

This rotting deck was very dangerous for anyone to walk on.

Rotting stairs & deck dangers

Rotting exposed timber stairs, attached to the deck.


When having a deck built.

  • It is worth considering what you want its purpose to be.
  • Do not build any exposed timber structure without constructing a roof above it.
  • Create a decent eave overhang for protection.
  • Conduct periodic inspections yourself and keep the timber well maintained, especially softwood!
  • Most importantly monitor securings, railings, main supports for any signs of deterioration.
  • Lookout for rotting of main supports also columns for rust to their bases.

Otherwise you have built a money pit, that requires constant upkeep and replacing prematurely.

Deck dangers around Brisbane.

Important areas to watch out for:

  • Early signs of timber rot, especially softwood.
  • Joints of timber where water is trapped and keeps the timber moist.
  • Bolts and brackets for rusting.
  • All exposed metal securings must coated in “Hot Dipped Galvanising” not zinc plated.
  • If possible, use high quality Stainless Steel bolts, nails and brackets, especially near Pools.
  • Maintain timber and securings of safety railings.
  • Decks that are considerably tall must be properly braced and well secured.
  • Check for deterioration of the main vertical supports around their bases, also lookout for movement.
  • Look for unevenness of the deck, this may indicate movement and/or deterioration.
  • Use high quality paint to maintain timber.
  • Inspect on a regular basis and maintain.

Make sure the structure has been constructed according to local Authority requirements.

If in doubt, have the structure and railings checked by a licenced contractor and repaired or replaced.

Related information that may assist you.

Government on planning and building

Council of Ipswich on decks, balconies and verandahs-planning and approvals

Qld Government deck, verandahs, balconies inspection guide

For independent Building Inspections Brisbane in all suburbs, Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service.