Your deck is outside in the elements all year, which means that it will probably need repairs at some point. If the weather damage to it is severe, you may have to replace it entirely. It is therefore important to find out which types of damage are relatively minor and which call for you to invest in a new deck. You will have to inspect your deck carefully to determine its condition. Pay attention to the following factors during your inspection:
The material used to construct your deck will determine how it stands up to wear. For instance, real wood reacts to the elements differently when compared to composite boards or vinyl. Vinyl and composite decks may fade while wood decks can sometimes warp. Depending on the material, you may only need to replace a few damaged boards or you may need to do a wholesale replacement.
Weakened or Loose Fasteners
Your deck's fasteners can come loose because of the expansion and contraction caused by warm and cold weather. Oxidization can also be a problem because of exposure to the air. Oxidation can weaken fasteners.If the hardware is loose or has been weakened, your deck may be unsafe and you may need to replace it.
A Sagging Frame
Rot makes a wood deck more vulnerable to termite infestation. As the termites eat, they make the wood more porous and this allows water to seep even deeper into it and speed up the rotting process. Rot and the termite damage cause the deck’s frame to sag, which is one of the signs that it needs to be replaced.
The expansion and contraction process that loosens fasteners can damage wood and composite board. In many cases, this can be repaired. If the damage is extensive, you may want to opt for a new deck made from a more stable material.
Weak Post Connections
The right fasteners are essential for a longer lasting deck. For example, the deck posts should be connected to the beam with galvanized carriage bolts. If the only fasteners used for this purpose are standard nails, your deck may be in danger of collapse and in need of replacement.
If you are unsure whether your deck needs small repairs or a complete replacement, contact us at Woodscape Construction today! Our experienced carpenters can help you to figure out what has to be done.
A deck will add value and enjoyment to your home for years, but eventually, the time will come when you need to replace it. Age as well as exposure to the elements eventually take their toll, causing issues that could even become dangerous in some instances.
Some problems can be repaired, but if you see any of these issues, you may need to replace your deck with a new one:
If you have a wood deck and boards that have become soft and spongy, it’s a sign that the material is rotting and needs to be replaced. Also check for orange dust, white strands, or crumbling on the wood, which can be evidence of dry rot.
Your deck is attached to your house by a ledger board. If it starts to lean away from the house, it could be in danger of collapsing. Also check the ledger board for signs of decay or hardware issues.
Look for small holes on your deck boards, which could be evidence of termites or other insects. If it’s very limited, it may be possible to have only a board or two replaced, but if the damage is widespread, your entire deck may need to be replaced.
Joists support your deck, so if the wood has become soft or you see evidence of rotting, they may need to be replaced. The damage will often extend to other parts of your deck as well. Damaged joists will usually make a deck replacement necessary anyway, because part of your deck will probably need to be torn up in order to replace the joists.
Boards can crack over time and exposure to sun, wind, and rain. This can allow moisture to seep inside and cause your deck to rot.
Sometimes damage can be difficult to detect, so particularly if your deck is several years old, contact Woodscape Construction for a free consultation. Our professional carpenters repair and replace decks in Virginia and the District of Columbia. If you need to replace your deck – or you’re simply ready to upgrade – we also have an experienced team of Woodscape designers to help you plan the perfect deck to enjoy for years to come.