Safety in the Backyard

By: Sanjog Gopal

After a long winter it is always a good idea to check the wooden areas of your yard for safety. Areas like the porch or deck, sheds and garages. Over the winter months, especially if you live in an area where snow and ice is prevalent you should always check the wooden areas of your yard for weather damage. Luckily for us down in Arizona this is not much of an issue however there can be other issues in more temperate areas like bugs and excessive drying out of wood and subsequent splintering and dry rot. Either way, in protecting your family and investment take the time to check everything out to make sure it is safe for the coming summer season.

Start by looking at the integrity of the structure in question.

You will have to look for different things depending on the area you live in as stated above. In dry climates wood dries out quickly in the blazing Arizona sun and can shrink and split. This can greatly weaken wooden structures and lead to dangerous situations when the area is in use. Conversely a situation where wood is unprotected against the elements, in particular large amounts of moisture; wood can start to soften and eventually rot. No only is this unattractive but it greatly weakens the wood.

This is the kind of thing that is good to check on the actual home as well. Areas where wood contacts the ground can provide a home for bugs and also moisture can easily get drawn up into the wood if the wood is not properly sealed and protected. This is also true for all wooden watershed areas on your homes such as the roof, the eaves, awnings, sills, roof joints and any other wood areas that are exposed to moisture. It's important to check these areas each year, especially the roof areas. If the roof starts to leak there could be any number of problems that utilize such a leak as a springboard to larger more complex problems like mold or deterioration of walls and ceilings. The summer is the perfect time to take care of these things so that you are prepared when the colder weather comes around. Or, in Arizona when it drops below 80 degrees BRRRRR!

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