Replacing a wooden deck can be costly, which is why you won’t want to opt for a full-scale replacement unless it’s absolutely necessary. With that said, if your deck is in very poor condition, repairs may not be a viable option. Watch out for these warning signs so that you know when your wooden deck needs to be replaced.
The Wood is Rotting
If the wood on your deck is beginning to rot, it’s likely that repairs won’t be sufficient. Rotted wood can have a negative impact on the appearance of your deck, and it can also be a serious safety hazard.
Wood rot spreads over time, which means that even a small amount of rot could indicate that you need to take action. While repairs may be sufficient if you catch the issue early, you’ll want to use a sealant so that you don’t have problems with rot going forward.
Railings are Loose
A loose railing is an issue that will need to be addressed as soon as possible. If someone leans against a railing that is loosened, they could be seriously injured or worse. It’s possible to replace loose railings, but if this is a wide-spread problem, you may find that it’s a better choice to replace your deck.
You need to make sure that you are able to use your deck safely. Having secure railings is a part of that. The structure of a deck can weaken as it ages, and in some cases, this will lead to a deck needing to be replaced.
You Have Issues With Mold or Mildew
Mold is dangerous to have in the home, but it can be a threat when it’s in your outdoor living space as well. Mildew can be another serious problem. It’s important to remember that mold isn’t always readily visible. Even if you address the mold you can see, there may be more mold beneath your deck.
Replacement isn’t always necessary if your deck has an issue with mold, but it is something you’ll want to consider. You should be particularly wary if you see fungal growths that resemble mushrooms.
Your Fixtures are Rusted
If the fixtures and fittings that hold your deck in place have begun to rust, your deck may not be secure for much longer. It’s smart to examine fittings from time to time and make sure that they are in good condition.
Broken or rusted fittings and fixtures can and should be replaced. However, if this is a chronic issue for you, it’s a sign that your deck has reached the end of its lifespan. In a scenario like this, you may be better off completely replacing the deck before a major issue occurs.
Other Signs of Significant Damage
In addition to the problems listed above, you’ll want to keep a watchful eye out for other signs of severe damage. If your deck has cracks, holes, broken boards, or other serious problems, you’ll want to take action. Termites are another thing you’ll want to watch out for.
Repairing the damage is easier if you catch these problems early on, which is why you’ll want to inspect your deck periodically. Compare the cost of regular repairs to replacement. In some situations, you may find that it’s more cost-effective to replace your deck entirely.
It can be difficult to determine whether you should replace or repair your wood deck. The best course of action will vary based on a number of factors. Keep this advice in mind. No matter what you choose to do, you’ll want to make sure you work to protect your deck against damage in the future.