Signs Its Time to Replace Your Deck

A deck can add a lot of value to your home – if it’s in good shape. If not, it’s an accident waiting to happen, and chances are you aren’t getting much enjoyment out of it.

Many homeowners are able to repair what’s already there, but sometimes a deck is beyond saving. Here’s how you know it’s time to just scrap the deck and start new.

Sagging from Substructure Damage

Step a few feet away from your deck. Does it look level or is it sagging? If the answer is sagging you’re likely to find substructure damage underneath the decking. Another place to check for damage is the vertical supports. Rot or damage to support beams and vertical supports compromise the entire structure and should be replaced ASAP.

Most of the Decking is Warped, Split or Cracked

Wood Rot on Deck

Time takes its toll on decks, which are out in the elements year round. Even hardwood decking that last decades begin to give way to age at some point. Signs of serious weathering include decking that’s warped, split or cracked. When it takes more than cleaning and another coat of sealer to get your deck looking fresh again then it’s time to replace it.

Widespread Wood Rot

Rot is a problem that is easily detected. Damp, discolored and soft to the touch – wood with these characteristics is rotting. You’ll also notice that the decking gives a little when you walk over it. If this is the case or the deck frame shows signs of rot it is time to replace more than the affected boards. Even if it is only in a spot or two, once it starts other areas of decay usually aren’t far behind.

Termites Have Taken Over the Deck

If caught early and isolated, a deck that’s been infested with termites can be repaired. However, if the termites have set up shop in multiple locations or all over the deck, the entire structure will likely need to be replaced.

Termite Damages

Termites burrow into wood, creating channels that compromise the integrity of the wood and leave it more susceptible to wood rot. If it’s not replaced and treated to make sure the termites don’t return then matters will only get worse.

Nails and/or Screws Won’t Hold

You’ve noticed that a lot of nails have popped up on the decking and thought it would be an easy fix. But not long after hammering them back in they are loose again. When decking isn’t staying fastened to the frame there are underlying issues, and it’s usually a sign that the wood needs to be replaced.

When deciding whether to repair or replace your deck keep both the short-term and long-term costs in mind. Sometimes a repair is just buying you time and will end up costing more than replacement after multiple repairs. When it comes to structural integrity it’s a safety issue and you’re better off replacing than repairing.

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