Many people think that the best way to maintain the aesthetics of their deck is to add some decorations. Throw some plants on there, give it a nice paint job, install some stylish benches, and troths. Adorn its surface with patio furniture that fits your decorative motif. Maybe a shiny new grill to really make it pop. However, if your deck is damaged, all of these additions become moot.
This is why it's necessary to check your deck often for situations that need repair. Normal deck repair consists of maintaining loose rails, cracked boards, replacing rusting nails, and fastening loose screws. However, sometimes it’s best to call in a professional deck repair contractor if it’s too much to handle personally.
Here are some indications that you need deck repair.
1. You Notice Rot In The Wood
Most building codes require contractors to construct decks on concrete floors. However, if your deck is dated, its supporting beams may come in direct contact with the ground. The ground is usually moist, and wood will naturally act as a sponge, sapping water away from the dirt, into its core. This water will eventually rot away the structural integrity of the wood. So, if you have an older deck, not supported on concrete, make sure to regularly check it for rot. If you notice some, then it may be time for deck repair.
2. The Concrete Is Damaged
While having a concrete base will provide more longevity to the integrity of the deck, it’s not infallible. Deck footings can be poured on ground that shifts over time, or wasn’t stable in the first place. In these cases, the concrete may shatter, or shift out of place. If you live in a climate where temperatures fluctuate between hot and cold often, this thawing and de-thawing shifts the concrete faster.
Therefore, between seasons, it’s advised to check for any structural deficiencies in the concrete. If you notice these, it may be time to get some deck repair done, since the structural integrity of your deck is now compromised.
3. Your Yard Has Drainage Issues
Moisture, and weather eventually erodes the soil around the base of your deck. It will also erode the concrete, and even the wood. This will eventually cause destabilization of the deck foundation.
Another thing to pay attention to is if you have any drainage issues. While it may be fine when you first install your deck, over time, the slope of your property changes naturally. This could be due to you removing vegetation, adding or removing other structures in your yard, and a variety of other reasons. These modifications lead to a change in drainage, which, if not managed, could cause more water to set under your deck. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention after storms to see if you notice any water pooling up around your deck, or in other areas of your house. These pools of water can be damaging to the base of your deck, and eventually cause serious issues.
4. Your Boards Are Damaged
Cracks and splinters in the board of your deck isn’t usually a sign of serious damage, and it’s pretty easy to repair them. Just replace the boards with treated wood, and match the color of the paint. However, if you notice that multiple boards are deteriorating, it may be time for a new deck.
Wood, as you’re aware, doesn’t have permanent integrity. Therefore, it’s advised to stain, paint, and seal it often in order to extend its lifespan. However, our lives become busy, and sometimes we can forget about things like this, which could accumulate to a point where we need a replacement. Also, you could acquire the property from someone else, and they could have neglected it to this point.
There are many signs that you may need deck repair. These are just some of the more common ones. While some can be fixed with a DIY approach, many require a professional deck builder.