How do I Know If I Should Replace Or Repair My Deck?
Convenient, beautiful, and inviting – a hardwood deck is an ideal choice for combining your indoor and outdoor living spaces.
And while a deck provides lots of benefits to homeowners, like anything related to owning a home, it comes with maintenance. And over time, the question of deck repair or replacement will come into play.
Sun, rain, wind, and extreme temperatures wreak havoc on your deck and can shorten its lifespan. This results in cracks, rotted railings, and warped boards.
Fortunately, most deck problems do not extend to the frame and only require cosmetic changes rather than structural replacements. Sometimes, a simple deck staining is all that is needed, depending on the condition of the deck.
Inspecting Your Deck For Repair Or Replacement
When considering deck repair or replacement, inspection using a simple process can help you determine if repair or replacement is needed, and to what extent:
Step 1: Examine the deck for sound footing. Footing that is heaved above grade and appears warped needs to be replaced with deeper footing. A new footing can be dug and poured right next to the existing one, which otherwise can be expensive to rip out.
Step 2: Most deck frames are created with pressure-treated wood and have a light green color. This lumber usually lasts decades. To determine if your deck is made from this type of wood, cut a thin piece off the end of the frame with a circular saw and look for the green coloring. If the wood is untreated and has any indication of rot, it may be best to replace the frame.
Step 3: Check posts for structural integrity as they usually rot when in contact with the footing or ground. They can be dug up and inspected if buried.
If the frame of your deck is still intact, you can repair the deck by replacing the boards and railings that have worn out. If the frame has rotted and the structural integrity of the deck has been compromised, it needs to be replaced. Before starting this project ensure that the necessary permits and permissions have been granted, so you do not experience any hiccups along the way.
Whether you decide to repair or replace your deck, you need to make important decisions on what materials you will use. The most popular deck materials, listed from most expensive to least expensive are:
- Exotic hardwoods, which need regular maintenance to preserve
- 100% inorganic plastic that looks like wood
- Composite made from a combination of reclaimed plastic and recycled wood
- Chemical-free cedar, which is ideal for decks in extreme climates
- Pressure-treated lumber, which is resistant to termites and rot
A thorough and professional inspection of your deck will give you all of the information you need to be properly informed on the condition of your deck, and the steps you need to take to ensure its proper upkeep and maintenance.
This inspection will allow you rest easy, knowing you are being proactive in caring for and maintaining your deck.