SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — First responders were called to a home on the west side of Sioux Falls early Saturday morning for a deck collapse. Up to 15 people were on the deck when it collapsed.

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue says five people were hurt, none seriously. It appears they were about 7 feet off the ground when the wooden structure gave way.

Butch Warrington, Chief Building Inspector for the city of Sioux Falls, says you can inspect your own deck. He says to start with the ledger board next to the house. It is one of the first places to look for decay in wood.

“We see a lot of guard rails and handrails that go out fairly quickly because those members are smaller, so we have to keep an eye on them to make sure they can handle somebody getting pushed into them or something. We don’t want anybody to fall off,” said Warrington.

Posts in contact with dirt can be another problem area, according to Tim Schoffelman owns Daletree Decks and Custom Wood Working in Sioux Falls. He showed us a deck that is failing.

“So some of the tins we will look for are like especially after it rains, you will see discoloring in the boards it will look a little bit different, or it won’t dry out right away like after this weekend rain, the whole thing will be dry except for the part connected to another board, and that will still be wet or soft,” said Schoffelman.

There are basically two choices when it comes to decking.

Schoffelman says about 80 percent of the decks he’s building are composite material.
However, wood is less expensive and has its place.

“Wood has its benefits, especially if it’s direct in the sun wood tens to dissipate heat a lot more, so if you have pets or if you don’t want to have like a run up there, you don’t want to burn your feet, composite tends to let that heat sit right on top, and it gets pretty hot during the noonday sun,” said Schoffelman.

A composite deck will cost you 30 to 60 dollars per square foot. Traditional wood decking usually costs 23 to 42 dollars per square foot. Companies like TREX have cost calculators on their websites.