Common Signs Your Deck Needs Repair
If you are a homeowner who is fortunate enough to have a deck at your residence, it’s most likely one of your favorite spots of your home. Decks are perfect outdoor spaces for year-round enjoyment and entertainment. Unfortunately, your deck is a living space that takes the most abuse simply because of its outdoor location. While decks are wonderful to expand your outdoor living area, they are investments that need maintenance and repair throughout the years. Just like other aspects of your home, their conditions degrade over time from exposure and usage.
Decks that need repair or replacement may not reveal their flaws until it’s too late. This is why it’s crucial to continually maintain and inspect your deck throughout the change of seasons for everyone’s health and safety. A simple glance-over won’t do. Common deck repairs often come from signs that may not be apparent at first. Proper inspection should be at the top of your to-do list, as it will reveal true wear and tear. Check out these common signs your deck needs repair that you should be on the lookout for.
A Sinking Feeling: Unstable Footings
All decks are built on some type of underlying foundation. If your deck appears to be sinking, the odds are that a foundation issue is the root of the problem. Remember, deck footings are the main support for a heavy amount of weight—furniture and humans can weigh thousands of pounds. A sound, structural foundation is of the utmost importance.
Concrete footings under the deck aren’t long-term since the concrete can crack or even drop. Colder climates with usual freeze and thaw conditions can cause the concrete to heave into the soil. Extreme temperature changes tend to dramatically impact the stability and structure of these bases. If you see this happen to your deck, it’s a necessary sign to repair the footings and maintain foundation stability.
Rickety, Wobbly Railings
A loose railing is not an immediate danger—but it can freely tumble off the sides, which is a serious safety hazard. Loose railings can be especially dangerous if the deck is highly elevated or if young kids regularly use it. Railing posts should be tightly fastened to the deck and should not wobble or be unsteady. Look out for rickety railings and keep a close eye if they appear to be a structural problem. If damage to a deck railing is more extensive, such as rot or rust, it may need a replacement instead of a mere tightening up.
Deck Boards Are Cracked, Splintered, or Loose
One of the most common signs your deck needs repair is any loose or damaged floorboards, also known as deck planks. If your deck is an older or traditional wooden deck, the wood will splinter or crack from continual exposure to the elements, insect or termite damage, or consistent pressure over the years. While wood cracks naturally come with age, some boards age faster than others. If some boards need repair, their replacement is an easy fix. Yet, if the deck seems spongy-like, the entire deck platform is unsafe and needs replacing. Even if you cannot see visible rot as a sign, a deck that appears to sag is a sign of its lurking presence.
If deck boards appear to wobble, that doesn’t mean the deck will collapse at any moment. Rather, the wobbling boards will weaken other components of your deck over time, which includes the ledger that attaches the deck to your home. Such an issue requires an immediate repair, or even replacement, of the entire deck.
You can choose to replace the wood of your deck platform with composite decking. Composite wood decking is a popular alternative material to use over traditional wood decking since it isn’t necessary to stain or seal. The industry lifespan of composite decking is at least 25 years. However, even composite decking has its quirks and needs consistent care. Regardless of your deck’s material, remember that proper maintenance is key to keep the deck safe, which in turn protects everyone who uses it.
Rusty Nails or Metal Connectors
When hardware is missing or eroded, that means there’s a huge problem. Nuts and bolts are what holds everything together. The more rust you find on the metal pieces that connect one part to another, the more dangerous your deck’s condition is. If there are signs of corrosion, the deck’s structure can quickly weaken. Any screws that appear to no longer hold the deck’s framework or joists together are clear signs that the internal structure is weakening. Rusty or broken fittings underneath the deck are a hazard to you and your family.
Your Deck is Older Than Current Regulations
If your deck is old and constructed with lumber, or you’ve moved into a home with a deck that hasn’t been properly maintained, you may want to replace the deck instead of repair it. Current regulations for decks recommend that any deck over ten years old should be inspected based on current safety codes. Either way, it’s best to have an inspection of the deck’s structure and condition to know what you’re dealing with.
If you have pertinent questions about the safety of your deck or need the expertise to repair damages or excessive wear, reach out to a professional who can assess your deck situation. If you believe that your deck is beyond repair, it may be time to fully rebuild it instead of simply replace parts. Seek out local outdoor living contractors who can handle the deck installation process from beginning to end.
Kona Contractors is a family-owned company who has worked diligently to become one of the top deck designers, patio builders, and outdoor living contractors in the surrounding Denver area. Our specialists serve customers with a wide array of the best quality services. We even offer deck repair to Denver homeowners. For more information about how to keep your deck in the best shape possible, feel free to contact us. Or, if you’re ready to proceed with a new custom deck installation, seek out the assistance of our local expert deck builders. Call us directly to talk with our team today—we’re always here to help!