Decks can last a long time, as long as they are well maintained. However, due to numerous factors like weather and frequency of usage, your deck might not last for the time you had hoped. Your deck might begin to disintegrate without warning, causing an unsightly view and putting everyone using it at risk of falling. To avoid this, it is important to either repair or replace your existing deck. This article will provide you with information regarding the best action to take between these two options.
Signs that you need to Replace or Repair Your Deck
Whether you have to replace or repair your deck, you need to look at a few things to help you make this decision. Some areas you should focus on during your inspection include:
- A Damaged Deck Surface
The surface of your deck includes railings, handrails, and deck boards. If your wooden deck surface is exposed to sunlight and moisture over a long time, it can rot and get damaged, causing water to penetrate into the wood, and cause even more destruction. Since your deck’s surface is the most exposed to different weather elements, it is the most vulnerable part of your deck, and can thus degrade very fast.
- Loose Railing Posts and Metal Connectors
Deck railings offer protection against falls, which becomes more essential the higher the deck is off the ground. If the railings do not feel safe, then they are definitely not safe. Such railings should be replaced as soon as possible. Metal connectors reinforce the connection between pieces of wood, and if they are loose, they could pose a huge danger to you and your family. Therefore, you should tighten such metal connectors or replace them altogether.
- Shallow Deck Footings
If you are planning on replacing or repairing your deck, you need to start the inspection from the ground by looking at the footings. If they seem heaved above grade, your deck will be warped. At most times, this means that your deck is very shallow and requires replacement.
- Rot on Deck Posts
Deck posts are the ones that hold your deck’s substructure off the ground. Although deck posts are not very much exposed to the elements, the base of the post can rot if water accumulates there. Early termite damage to deck might also cause problems on your deck posts.
Should You Replace or Repair Your Deck – Factors to Consider
Repairing your deck is cheaper compared to replacing. This is because you only need to do simple retouches on your deck, and everything is perfect again. Due to this, you do not need to buy many materials or hire expensive labor to get the job done. On the other hand, replacing requires you to purchase new materials and get enough workers to do the project. Hence, replacing attracts more costs compared to repairing. Despite this, it is good to note that there are times when the cost of repair will be close to the cost of replacing. At such a time, you should consider replacing your deck altogether. Deck issues like frame rot, extensive structural damage, and soggy wood can be hard to repair, and the best thing is to replace the whole thing.
Whichever decision you make between replacing and repairing, you need to understand that both will help prolong the life of your deck. If you decide to repair, you will be working on the worn-out areas to give your deck a better shape and more strength. Depending on the nature of your repair, noticeable patches might be left on your deck. If you make the choice to replace your deck, you should also try to work on the root cause of the deck’s damage, which could be plumbing, termites, or even drainage. You should fix these issues before you start rebuilding, as this is the only way to ensure that your new deck does not succumb to similar problems.
A deck helps you enjoy the outdoor living spaces. However, due to harsh weather conditions, local damage, and continuous usage, your deck’s lifespan might be reduced. At such a time, you will have a weak deck that can fall at any time, or cause injuries to users. If you happen to see any signs of wear, you should either make the decision to repair or replace your deck. The choice you make here will depend on the level of damage on your deck, the cost you are ready to incur, and the look you want to achieve.