A deck provides outdoor space for relaxation and entertaining. Given proper care, decks can last for years. You can repair many minor issues with replacement boards or new deck screws. Some types of wear, however, indicate that your deck needs a complete overhaul. Knowing the signs you need to replace your deck can help you avoid safety hazards before it’s too late.
Rotted boards on top may indicate trouble underneath your deck. Inspect posts carefully for signs of rot. A rotten post is a major safety hazard, as it could give way and cause the deck to collapse.
Rot spreads. If you notice a rotted area on the deck, remove the rotten boards and check to see how far the problem has spread. If it’s widespread, it’s time to replace your entire deck.
Bowing, Sagging, or Leaning
Step away from the deck, and give it a critical eye. Do you notice signs of bowing in the boards? Or does the deck look like it is sagging or leaning away from the house? These signs could indicate that the underlying joists have detached from the ledger board that holds the deck to the house or that the ledger board itself has deteriorated. The boards may have shifted, come loose from joists, or suffered water or pest damage.
Sagging, bowing, and leaning are dangerous. Loose boards create tripping hazards, and joists that detach from the ledger board render the entire deck unstable.
Repeated Nail Pops
If you find yourself having to pound nails back in repeatedly or replace deck screws often, the fasteners aren’t holding in the underlying joists. This could indicate that the joists are failing because of water damage, insect invasion, mold, or wood rot.
Erosion Around Posts
A well-built deck will have posts sunk into concrete buried in holes deeper than the frost line in the deck’s location. However, soil erosion around the posts may expose more of it to the elements. Exposed concrete indicates a serious issue. The post is vulnerable to water and pest damage.
Railings that come loose are hazardous because they can’t do their job of protecting deck users from falling. While you can replace or re-nail rails, the need for frequent repair may indicate that something is wrong with the decking that the railings attach to. The wood may have softened or warped, making it impossible to secure the railing. This is a sign your deck needs replacement.
Among home addition and remodeling contractors in Paso Robles, California, Gannage Construction provides a comprehensive design/build service. Gannage can replace or rebuild decks, create a home addition to expand your space, or remodel your kitchen. Call us today to find out more.