Unlike patios, which are placed directly on the ground, decks are always built above the ground. The entire structure is often supported by piers, piles or any other type of foundation. These are often referred to as the deck footing. But what exactly is deck footing?
The Weight of a Deck
A deck construction contractor takes into account two types of loads a deck must carry before building the footing. These are dead loads and active loads. Dead loads are the “default” weight of the deck, including the piles, beams, support structures, flooring and any other parts that go with the deck itself. Active loads are the additional weight the deck must support during its normal use. This includes any people who will be on the deck, furniture and, sometimes, even snow.
The Ground and the Air
Loose soil can’t support a lot of active weight loads. In fact, some experienced contractors may even advise against building a deck if your home happens to stand on unstable ground. Climate also plays a role in how much weight the ground can support. Areas that get high amounts of precipitation may find their soil unable to carry the weight of a full deck.
Your deck company may suggest using precast concrete piers for your deck. These are readily available and are often strong enough to sustain a lot of weight for extended periods of time. These piers may be used with or without footing depending on your local code requirements.
Build the ideal deck with help from our professionals at Tony’s Roofcare Inc. Give us a call at (253) 841-7779, or fill out our contact form to request a free quote on deck constructions today.