Wood decks generally last up to 15 years for homeowners. Sometimes they can exceed 20 years if properly maintained and aren’t exposed to harsh weather elements. Many homeowners like to get as much out of their wood deck as they can, but you also have to balance the safety aspects. A single rotten board is easy to replace. However, there could be other underlying issues you don’t know about that can lead to the need for a deck replacement contractor. Here are five sure signs you need to replace your wood deck.
Multiple Splintered Or Cracked Deck Boards
As wood decks are exposed to rain, humidity, debris, sun, and other elements, they will slowly deteriorate. Even if you do the proper annual maintenance and stain it regularly, your wood deck won’t last forever. The usual result of a weathered deck is splintered or cracked boards. If you have one or two boards that are worse than others, then a deck replacement contractor can easily take care of it. However, if the weathering is more widespread, then the next step could be to replace the whole thing. When that time comes, consider speaking to composite decking contractors about the benefits of composite wood versus natural wood.
Wood Rot On Posts Or Beams
Any type of rot on your wood deck should be a cause for concern. Sometimes the rot is isolated, but most of the time if you see rot in one location, it’s present elsewhere also. Exposure to the damp soil can make your posts or beams rot and slowly spread across the deck as more moisture hits them. It’s important to evaluate your deck periodically by stepping on each board slowly to ensure it’s stable. If it feels soft on top or underneath at the beam level, you could be dealing with a rot issue and a deck replacement contractor should be contacted. Rotten posts and beams can create a dangerous situation, so don’t delay in getting the problem evaluated.
Loose Deck Railings
A loose deck railing could be as simple as tightening up a couple of screws or replacing them. Or it could mean the structure has become rotten. Never take a loose deck railing as a minor issue since it can create a serious safety hazard. People tend to put a lot of their weight on railings and if it collapses, they could hurt themselves badly. But if you replace some screws or bolts and the railings become stable again, then you might not have to worry anymore. Just be sure to evaluate the railing periodically to ensure it remains stable.
Rusty Or Loose Connectors And Fasteners
Connectors and fasteners are what hold your entire deck together and they need to be structurally stable to be safe. However, over time as the deck is exposed to weather elements, these connectors and fasteners can become rusty or loose as the wood expands and contracts. If a particular screw is popping up from a deck board, replace it right away. But it also is a good idea to contact a deck replacement contractor to ensure there’s not a larger issue underneath the deck that you can’t see. Chances are if you find one rusty or loose fastener, there will be others as well, so don’t take the issue lightly.
Poor Maintenance Signs
For as beautiful as natural wood decks are when they are installed, they require a lot of maintenance to remain in good condition. Dirt, leaves, and other debris can get in between the boards and if they aren’t removed in a reasonable time, mildew, moss, and mold can start growing. The most common signs of a poorly maintained wood deck include:
- No sealer or stain present to protect the wood
- Peeled or chipped paint
- Algae, mildew, or mold growth
- Rusty or loose connectors
- Rotten planks, beams, or railings
These issues shouldn’t be present on a wood deck that has been maintained properly with washing, restaining, and replacing any faulty connectors regularly. Not doing so can significantly reduce the life of your deck and potentially create hazards along the way.
Do You Need To Repair Or Replace Your Deck?
A big question homeowners have is if they have to replace the entire deck or if they can just repair it? It’s no question a full deck replacement is a costly project. But depending on the cost of the repairs and how much life your deck has in it, you could be better off in the long run by replacing it now. When you have a trustworthy deck replacement contractor evaluate your deck, they can give you an idea of how much life your deck has in it. If it’s determined you might only get another 3-5 years out of it, then it’s usually a better option to save your repair money and just replace it.
If the time has come to replace your natural wood deck, you owe it to yourself to speak with Trex contractors about composite decking. You don’t have to worry about maintaining it nearly as much and the lifespan won’t deteriorate as quickly as a natural wood deck. At Regan Total Construction, we build Trex decks for homeowners for many reasons. They are simple to install, there are plenty of options to meet your aesthetic needs, and they can easily last 25+ years depending on weather elements and maintenance practices. Don’t hesitate to contact us today and our composite decking contractors can evaluate your current deck and provide professional recommendations.
I’m happy you mentioned how much upkeep they need to keep up their wonderful looks. If the dirt, leaves, and other debris are not cleaned promptly, mildew, moss, and mold may begin to form between the boards. This year, my spouse and I are debating installing new deck railings. To ensure that these railings are built correctly and look great, we need to hire a contractor. By then, we’ll be sure to take your suggestions into account so we can prevent future cases of decaying wood railings.