A deck can be one of the most enjoyed spaces in a home. Decks provide outdoor gathering areas used for year-round entertainment, cooking and more. However, they are also exposed to the elements on a daily basis and require maintenance and repairs over time.
It might not be evident that your deck needs updating until too late, so we recommend having it inspected for defects yearly, around springtime. This article will discuss the most common signs that your deck needs some work.
Floorboards are Loose
Boards lifting or bowing are typically easy to spot, as uneven flooring can cause us to trip or feel off-balance. Over time, the joists can become insecure and detach from the ledger board, which causes boards to become loose and move around. If you notice loose or wobbly boards on your deck as you walk, they likely need replacing.
Another indication that your deck needs maintenance is if you experience a sinking sensation when you walk across it. That usually indicates an issue with your deck’s foundation. Cracks in the foundation generally show up in colder climates that experience repeated freezing and thawing throughout the year. If you notice any of these issues, you should carefully evaluate the needed repairs.
You should not overlook rotting wood. Wood rot can spread quickly and weakens your deck’s structure and integrity, causing increased deterioration over time. The degree of decay indicates whether you can get by with replacing individual boards or if you need to replace the entire structure.
If you notice wood rot, it is good to contact a deck builder immediately for a thorough inspection. Getting a professional opinion will ensure you make the best decision for your deck. Furthermore, addressing rot promptly – before it has a chance to progress – can save you significant money in the long term.
This one is the easiest to notice. Although loose railings are not always an immediate concern, they tend to worsen over time and develop into safety hazards. It’s a good plan to physically check all the railings on your deck seasonally to ensure their stability.
If your deck is at a higher elevation, or if you have pets or children, you want to make sure your railings are always stable and secure. Unstable railings can be caused by loose hardware or a more significant problem like rot. Railing posts should be fastened tightly to the deck and not wiggle or shake.
Even when they are constructed with pressure-treated wood, wooden decks inevitably weather. Most decks are painted or stained to finish, but exposure to the elements will naturally discolor their appearance over time. Widespread discoloration on your deck is an excellent indicator that it needs a little TLC. This can be a great time to check for structural issues as well.
Discoloration can also occur from accidental spills or incorrect cleaning products. These may corrode your deck’s finish and deteriorate the boards over time, leading to additional issues.
Do You Need a Professional Opinion?
It’s important to keep your deck in tip-top shape so that you can enjoy the space as much as possible. If you are uncertain about the state of your deck and want a professional opinion on repairs or maintenance work, Crockett Home Improvement can help.
We proudly offer deck installation and repair services and are always happy to share deck ideas with our clients. Give us a call today at 540-382-8747, or contact us via our online form for a free quote.