A deck not only adds beauty and value to a home, but it also provides your home with additional useable living space, especially during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. In some cases, however, a wood deck may seem to be more trouble than it is worth when you consider all of the annual upkeep it demands, and its potential for being invaded by wood-burrowing insects or worse—water damage.
This is why TimberTech capped composite decking is fast becoming the gold standard among homeowners who are interested in having decks installed. Composite decking offers superior resistance to mold, mildew, stains, and scratches. And, unlike most other decking materials, composite decking eliminates such worries as material defects, splinters, and damage caused by termites or rot.
If you have a wood deck that has seen better days, you should carefully consider your options. Long gone are the days of traditional, hardwood decks that require significant upkeep. Today there are a variety of new and innovative decking materials that provide superior long-lasting quality and beauty.
When to Repair a Deck
For many homeowners with decks, making the decision between repairing a deck and replacing it isn’t always that easy. In fact, before the decision can be made, a deck needs to be thoroughly examined to ensure that its foundation is still in good shape. After all, you don’t want to install new decking on top of a foundation that is at the end of its life.
If the deck has soft spots, sagging boards, or loose nails, it is important to find out whether or not the extent of the damage continues through to the deck’s foundation. If the damage is localized (on the surface), then you can remove your deck boards and install new ones for a quicker and easier repair.
Repairing your deck by replacing your boards and railings with TimberTech composite boards and railing products will give your deck a beautiful finish that is highly durable and essentially maintenance-free. By all accounts (and barring any unforeseen damage that might be caused by Mother Nature), this repair will most likely be the last you’ll have to make on your deck as long as the foundation remains solid.
When to Replace a Deck
If the deck has suffered damage to its foundation, then this will be cause for a partial or full deck replacement. In such cases, the damage is usually caused by extensive invasions of termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and other wood-drilling insects. As these insects dig channels deep inside of the wood, water eventually finds its way inside where it rots out the wood from within.
As the wood becomes more waterlogged and rotten, the deck frame will weaken and you’ll notice the deck beginning to sag in certain places. If the problem goes unnoticed, the soft, wet wood will only attract more insects and this will accelerate the deck’s deterioration, making it a very serious safety hazard.
Common Warning Signs That a Deck Needs to be Repaired or Replaced
In most cases, a deck is going to exhibit certain signs that a repair or replacement is needed. And, the sooner these issues are recognized and addressed, the less work will be required to make the repair. Common warning signs to watch out for include:
- Railing posts that shake when touched
- Nails or screws sticking up from the deck
- Rot around the deck frame’s outer edges
- A soft or spongy feel underfoot when walking on the deck
- Loose ledger boards
- Missing ledger flashing
Of course, it should also be stated that before you repair your deck, you need to ensure that it still meets current local building codes. If your existing deck is old, then there is a good chance that it might not be in-line with current zoning codes, so a complete replacement, or at least some major updates, may be required.
Before you start any decking project, you will want to check your local building codes with your township’s zoning board so you don’t begin working only to find out later that your updated deck fails inspection.
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