joist hanger on the deck
Photo: Jim Rooney
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Decomposing Decks

Be warned! If the brackets and fasteners holding your deck together are as corroded as this one, your backyard paradise is in serious danger of turning into a pile of tinder sticks. Water and weather can take a toll on metal fasteners and joist hangers. Even treated decking lumber can react negatively with them, leading to corrosion and—worst-case scenario—failure.

Between 2000 and 2008, about 30 people were killed in deck collapses. So it's important to inspect yours regularly, and replace corroded metal hardware with stainless steel or hot-dipped galvanized fasteners and joist hangers. They're more rust-resistant and neither will react negatively with the copper in treated woods. Doing so will give you peace of mind the next time your plus-sized pals come over for a few cold ones on the deck.
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