Deck Foot and Snow Load on Freestanding Deck

by Don
(Big Bear Lake, CA)

I am in the planning stage of building a free standing deck at my vacation property in Big Bear Lake, CA. We get about 6' of snow annually, and I'm wondering how the Deck Foot can handle snow load and moisture.

Editor's Comments

For those people who are new to this product, you might like to start by reading this article on the deck foot anchor and see if it is right for you.

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Aug 21, 2012
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Take these factors into consideration
by: Editor-Rich Bergman

The Deck Foot is essentially a surface load plate that happens to be anchored into the soil by a helix. It will move with any seasonal movements by frost etc. That is why is not intended for decks connected to the home. You need a foundation that does not ever move.

The heavier the load that the deck will impose on the deck foot, the more of them you need to ensure the weight distribution of each deck foot is sufficiently below the bearing capacity of the soil. So if you envision 6' of snow consider the load when it rains and that snow absorbs all that rain water.

I would be sure that the load would be double or triple of what an average deck would ever have to support. In this case you may have to place a footing every 3' on average. The best way to determine this for a rough estimate is to play around with our Deck Footing Calculator.

You have to have a rough idea of what your soil can bear for the answers to be helpful.

Where the benefit is clear for this solution is when you have average soil conditions, say bearing capacity of 1200 psf or greater and you are building a free standing deck. This does not require traditional concrete footings set below frost and so this product would save you a lot of time and money. In addition it is far more secure to the ground than a concrete block which can not be used in high wind zones without ground anchored cables.

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