Do you love outdoor entertaining? Well, your deck is the extension of your home that allows for outdoor entertaining and quality time. It provides the perfect space for grilling, lounging, and outdoor eating. So, it needs to remain in top shape to continue giving you wonderful memories.
As the weather changes from winter to spring, it’s time to take a look at the condition of your deck. You should annually inspect your deck at the start of spring to assess for the need of a renovation or a replacement. Check these 8 signs to help indicate whether or not you need a replacement deck.
1.Significant, Noticeable Damage
Every form of building material experiences wear and tear. From cracks to missing screws, some deck issues will lead to a simple repair while other damage will require a full replacement. If you notice significant damage, such as large holes, split boards, signs of termites, and many other issues, you know you need a new deck.
2.Unsecure or Bowing Boards
Lifted or unsecured boards can become safety hazards that cause people to trip, and as the homeowner, liability can fall to you. If you notice wobbly boards when walking across your deck, you may need a replacement. Joists can become unsecure and detach from the ledger board as time passes. This can cause boards to become loose and move around. The decking itself can also weaken from water damage, rot, or pest damage, which can cause the boards to begin bowing.
Loose railings are not always an indicator that your deck needs to be completely replaced. However, they are a serious safety risk that requires attention. And if loose railings are coupled with other issues, it could mean it’s time for a replacement deck. If your railings are loose, you should have them secured as quickly as possible.
Rotting wood in your deck is a serious issue. Wood rot moves quickly and spreads from one area to another. It weakens the structure of your deck and causes it to deteriorate over time. High amounts of rot indicate it’s time for a deck replacement. And even a little wood rot that goes unchecked will eventually require you to invest in an entirely new deck. If you notice wood rot, take immediate action to see how far the rot has spread. If it is localized, remove the affected wood and replace it. Then thoroughly clean the deck and seal its surface with a high-quality wood deck sealer.
If the wood rot has significantly spread, you will be better off rebuilding the entire deck and starting fresh. Ask your contractor for tips on caring for your deck to prevent future wood rot.
5.Deteriorating Ledger Board
The ledger board is what connects the deck to the side of your house and holds it in place. If your ledger board becomes compromised, your entire deck becomes compromised. If you notice loose fittings or rot appearing on your ledger board, solicit the advice of a professional immediately.
You should also ensure that the flashing around your ledger board is securely in place as this helps prevent water damage and rot from ruining the board.
The posts are what hold up your deck. They carry a great deal of weight, which makes their integrity vital to the support of your deck. If you notice large cracks or rot damage in the posts, you may have a problem. If you notice water pooling around the base of the posts, seek the advice of a professional on the best method for diverting water away from their base.
7.Rusted or Missing Hardware
The hardware and fittings will primarily be on the underside of your deck. You should take the time to assess the base of your deck to make sure none of the fittings are loose, completely missing, or covered in rust and deteriorating. The older your deck, the more likely this is to occur. However, this can happen to decks of all ages without proper care or material installation.
No homebuilding material will last forever, especially exterior materials. Age will always remain a factor in the need for a deck replacement. Weather and climate will take its toll on your deck. A typical wood deck can last anywhere from 15 to 40 years. This will depend on the materials used and the quality of routine maintenance performed. However, if your deck is showing signs of age and is over 20 years old, you should begin considering a deck replacement.
9.Considerations for Your New Deck
Before you decide to fully replace your deck, take the time to think about what your home and lifestyle require in the structure. Here are some items to consider before replacing your deck to help make it last a lifetime:
Materials— Whether you want the unmatched beauty of true wood or the low maintenance of a composite material, you need to consider which deck material will fit your lifestyle and taste.
Contractor— Find a licensed contractor who specializes in exterior projects such as decks and porches. They can help create a design plan and point you to the right colors and materials for your project.
Budget— Keep in mind what you can and are willing to spend on your new deck. This will help determine the project’s size and materials.
Maintenance— Ask your contractor what maintenance will be required to extend the life of your deck. Remember that the better you upkeep your deck, the longer it will last.
Don’t let yourself get stuck worrying about the safety of your deck. If you notice signs of damage or have questions, our team of licensed builders is ready to help give you peace of mind and resolve your issues. We can assess the state of your current deck to help determine your need for a rebuild or repair job. Contact us today to receive an estimate on your deck needs.