May 18, 2022

Code Enforcement Tips and Requirements for Decks and Pools

With summer on the horizon, Virginia Beach Code Enforcement is reminding residents about proper deck and pool maintenance tips and requirements to help ensure a safe and enjoyable time outside at home.

Inspect Your Decks, Balconies and Porches

According to the North American Deck and Railing Association, millions of decks in the U.S. are past their useful life. 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 decks, balconies, and porches, so routine evaluation and maintenance are even more necessary as these structures age.

Code Enforcement recommends residents have these structures 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

Effective Pool Barriers Help Keep Children Safe

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one to four-year-olds have the highest drowning rates, and among this age group, most occur in 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

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