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Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Housing and Public Works > Construction > Building and plumbing > Decks and balconies > Inspecting decks and balconies

Inspecting decks and balconies

Do you own a building with a balcony or deck?

You should inspect your deck at least once a year. Something as simple as rusted nails could cause a collapse that could cause death or injury to those you care for most. Check each part as well as the deck generally to make sure there has not been any excessive structural movement from the stress of swaying and twisting under load, or due to the ground subsiding.

Learn what you should inspect, and what to look for.


  1. Fixings
    • Check fixings and post brackets for bending, stress, fractures and rust.
  2. Nuts, bolts, screws and nails 
    • Look out for signs of rusting and replace as soon as needed.
  3. Posts
    • Wooden posts
      • Make sure the timber is a type that won’t degrade in soil and is treated appropriately.
      • If you see signs of wet rot, fungal growth, or timber that is spongy or fibrous, fix it immediately.
    • Steel posts
      • Check for signs of rust and deterioration around the base where water can pool.
  4. Bracing
    • Look for warped, cracked or damaged bracing elements and fixings that are loose or deteriorating.
  5. Bearers and joists
    • Check bearers and joists regularly for signs of warping or cracking.
  6. Balustrades anchor points 
    • Inspect where the balustrade is fixed to the deck or balcony, walls and posts, for deterioration.
    • Ensure handrails are securely fastened, glass balustrades are free from chips or cracks and anchor points are free of rust and wear.

Last updated 08 October 2015    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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