A deck is an integral part of any home. It provides a space for relaxation, entertainment, and exercise that you can enjoy year-round. Unfortunately, decks are prone to maintenance problems that arise from exposure to the elements and improper installation techniques. This post will help you keep your deck in good shape by listing six signs that indicate your deck needs some work.
How Can You Maintain A Beautiful Deck?
While wood looks fantastic, it will inevitably succumb to the whims of nature. Modern decking is typically made using specialist materials that can increase the deck's lifespan with less upkeep. If you are preparing to build a new deck, you should consider visiting a composite decking supplier to see their available options. Although the cost might be initially higher than wood, the money you will save on the additional materials such as wood preservatives and varnish is significant. In addition, it does not consider the possibility of wood decking requiring repairs in the future which can be costly.
However, if you have a wooden deck already, there are some signs you should look out for that indicate you might need to break out your tools. One of the most common repairs you will need to make on your deck is replacing some board. This could be caused by rot, termite damage, moisture damage, or in some cases, age, depending on when it was built and what care you have given it.
What Causes Decks To Wear Out Over Time?
A deck is one of the most expensive investments you can make in your home. It's essential to take care of it, especially if you want its value to remain at a high level as time goes on and other people see what an attractive addition it has made to your house or apartment. The main reason that most decking areas are prone to damage is that they're built using traditional materials such as wood. Some of the main reasons for deck degradation include:
- Poor weather.
- Use of inferior materials (like untreated wood).
- Bad construction.
- Little to no maintenance.
Six Signs That It May Be Time To Fix Your Deck
There are many different reasons why your deck may need to be repaired. But the most common one is when the wood has rotted and is no longer stable. Even so, other signs can indicate the time has come to replace or repair your deck.
This is a severe issue because while you may not need to disassemble your decking completely, it will require significant repairs. The term deck post erosion is used to describe the gradual weakening of a deck caused by water that seeps into the cracks and joints of the wooden posts, then freezes and thaws, causing expansion and contraction. Post deterioration can be very gradual or quickly, depending on how often the wood gets wet. The more wet-dry cycles, the higher the chance of erosion.
Water seeping into a deck post can cause it to rot and eventually weaken, even if it's made of pressure-treated wood. Deck posts are usually installed into footings that are set in concrete or gravel. The pressure treatment only works if the support is correctly seated in its foundation. The water can also cause screws to rust, which will loosen them. Eventually, this could collapse the entire deck because the screws would have eroded or slackened by water pressure washing up underneath them.
Extensive Surface Damage
Any surface damage is terrible for decking because it causes the wood to become dry and brittle. When it becomes dry, the wood is at risk of splitting and cracking. When this happens, the deck boards can no longer withstand any weight on top of them because they've lost their integrity. If you notice deep cracks in your wooden decking or if it appears that some parts have begun to pull away from other areas, then these are sure signs that extensive damage has been done. One saving grace is that if the damage is localized, you could save a substantial amount of money by repairing only that section. Occasionally, it can be solved by simply replacing parts of the boards. Nevertheless, the repairs might be more extensive in some cases, such as if the damage is near the house.
Significant Gaps Between The Decking And The House
Decks are attached to houses with ledger boards. The deck's weight combined with gravity can cause the entire structure to lean away from the building if these boards are damaged. Since the gap could cause people to trip, or the edifice could collapse, a leaning deck poses a significant safety hazard. Moreover, gaps between the deck and the house may allow water to seep into the boards, frames, and posts, causing decay. Essentially, you should consider a gap like this as a structural problem that needs to be addressed immediately.
If you have wet spots or extensive staining appearing in areas where they shouldn't be, this means that your deck is not draining correctly. This can cause the wood to rot and weaken, so getting this sorted out is essential before a more significant problem arises. This is often caused when puddling around your home after rainfall doesn't properly drain away.
Stability Issues With Railings
Decking rails are a crucial part of your deck. They help keep your decking boards in place and help prevent them from moving, but if your rails are not securely attached to the posts, this may be a sign you need to repair them. Stakes will loosen up over time, and as a result, the boards attached to them will loosen up as well.
Another sign that you may need some work done on your deck is if tiny dents are appearing in solid surfaces or parts of it seem to be commonly broken off. In most cases, this indicates that your deck isn't correctly attached to your house or the surface has been degraded to the point of no return. In this case, it wouldn't take much for someone to accidentally cause some serious damage.
If you notice any of these signs, don't hesitate to contact a professional for assistance. It's never too early to start thinking about how to prepare your deck for the season ahead. Proactive deck care will keep your investment in great shape and help you enjoy your deck even longer.