Your deck was built to withstand weather and heavy use, but after a while, it will show signs of wear. Harsh thunderstorms, strong winds and heavy snow will weaken your deck if regular maintenance isn’t kept up. Eventually, there will come a time when you need to decide if a repair is enough or if a replacement would be better. Take a look at the following examples to best determine if you should repair or replace your deck.
Rotting or Cracked Boards
The wood on your deck can become damaged through natural causes or an accident. Damaged wood can include cracks, splintered and/or rotting wood. Such damages can be a hazard to your family with the risk of getting a splinter, cutting your foot, or even falling through the weakened boards. These damages can usually be isolated to a couple of boards, even just one sometimes, which make them easy to repair. Simply replacing the affected boards with new ones can solve the problem.
Similar to weakening boards, railings can become loose over time. Stair railings are grabbed upon each day which can cause them to loosen over time. As well, leaning on the railing surrounding your deck can cause it to become weakened. If you notice any give in your railings, you should have them repaired immediately. Ignoring this over time can lead to unfortunate accidents as the railing is there to protect you from falling. Usually the fixtures will only need to be tightened, which can be done through repairs, however, in some cases it may be best to replace the whole railing. Speak to a deck professional to figure out which option is best for your railing.
If you are constantly having to repair deck boards and tighten railings time and time again, this is a sign you should replace your deck. Constant need for repairs is your deck expressing that its time is up. Plus, you might be able to save money in the long run by replacing the whole structure rather than paying to have it repaired multiple times.
If when you are standing or walking on your deck you can feel it swaying, then it’s time to replace it immediately. This is a sign of loose or weakened posts. Loose posts can be caused by the material used to ground them deteriorating, giving them room to wiggle. If you have loose posts you should not use your deck until it is replaced.
As a safety precaution, you should inspect your whole deck on a regular basis looking out for any signs of damage that could lead to overall weakening of your structure. If you’re not sure what to look out for, hire a pro to have a look for you. They have the knowledge and expertise to ensure your deck is as safe as possible.