Code Enforcement Tips and Requirements for Decks and Pools

Monday, May 20, 2019

​Even though the official start of summer is still weeks away, many people are already taking advantage of the warmer weather by relaxing on their decks and porches, and taking refreshing dips in their pools to cool off. To help ensure an enjoyable and, more importantly, safe time outdoors this season, Code Enforcement is reminding citizens about proper deck and pool maintenance tips and requirements.

Inspect Your Decks, Balconies and Porches
According to the North American Deck and Railing Association, millions of decks in the U.S. are more than 15 years old. As structures age, routine evaluation and maintenance are even more necessary. Regular inspections of these structures are especially important as they are often built with materials that weather and deteriorate over time and frequent use. In most cases, inspections are only required and conducted during the initial construction of these structures.

Code Enforcement recommends citizens have their decks, balconies and porches inspected regularly by a licensed professional (e.g., certified home inspector, deck builder, general contractor or engineer). Resources are also available to help property owners with proper maintenance and basic safety checks. However, the only way to certify if these structures are safe is to hire a licensed professional.

For more information and resources on deck, balcony and porch safety, visit www.vbgov.com/decksafety.

Effective Pool Barriers Help Keep Children Safe
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1- to 4-year-olds have the highest drowning rates; among this age group, most occur in home swimming pools. Pool owners have special responsibilities to help ensure a safe environment by complying with state and city codes intended to prevent children from accessing swimming pools.

An effective pool barrier prevents children from going over, under or through the barrier, and keeps them from accessing the pool when supervising adults are not present. There are specific requirements that address in-ground and above-ground pools, and the type and size of safety barriers. Having effective safety barriers in place also applies to hot tubs and spas.

Information on these code requirements, including a detailed guidebook with diagrams, is available at www.vbgov.com/poolsafety.

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