Officials reminding residents to clear snow from decks

MONCTON – The Moncton Fire Department is advising residents to clear snow from their front and back decks to keep them from collapsing.

Don McCabe is the deputy chief in charge of operations and says snow building up on older decks have been causing them to collapse.

“Decks in older buildings because decks in older buildings maybe didn’t meet the standards of newer buildings and they could be weaker and may not be able to take the load,” he said.

McCabe also says snow-covered decks inhibit members from responding to calls.

“Our fighters wouldn’t want to climb over five foot snow banks to try to get to your back door,” he said. “It’s nice to have both entrances cleared.”

But keeping the decks cleared has been a challenge.

Story continues below advertisement

Alex Morton lives just outside Moncton in Boundary Creek and says it’s hard to keep up cleaning his back deck with all the snowstorms.

“We had it cleared off the first few storms no problem,” he said. “We had it all cleaned off and then we got that big dump last weekend and we’ve managed to clear a path so we can go out and clear off the dryer vent but that’s about it.”

Morton’s deck isn’t far from the ground but he says it could still collapse under the snow’s weight.

“It could probably go but getting the snow off the back deck is a lot tougher than getting it off the driveway,” he said.

Home inspectors are also expressing concerns about snow building up on decks.

Dan Connors speaks for Metro Maintenance and Inspection Limited and says decks should be built by professionals to avoid problems.

“It seems like forever and a day in my opinion 50 per cent of the decks are built by homeowners and homeowners do not properly pad them which causes them to collapse,” he said, noting they should be built to withstand much more than their regular loads.

“A technipost is a drilled instrument that goes in that supports anything up to 10 times its regular load,” he said. “There’s an engineer’s certificate that goes with each and every one of them.”


Sponsored content