Everyone has their vision of a beautiful exterior deck space where family and friends can gather and make memories. Over the years, you may have noticed an increase in splinters and other signs that cause you to wonder if it’s finally time to renovate. Unfortunately, decks can often start to deteriorate due to use and age and become a safety hazard.
When deciding if you’re ready to take the deck repair plunge, you may want to consider your family’s safety as a driving factor. Many problems that plague decks may increase the risk of accidents and lead to deck deterioration, pest, and mold issues. However, you can easily avoid the worst-case scenario and design an outdoor space that makes your home an activity hub and compliments your style.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your deck space or you want to replace an outdoor area that no longer serves you, RJ Turner Remodeling specializes in deck remodels in Winston-Salem. Our deck remodeling projects are not only aesthetically pleasing – they’re also functional and durable. But how do you know if your deck requires a renovation? Here are six signs that you need deck repair.
Common Signs of Deck Repair
1. Rotted Wood
If you notice softness in your deck’s wood, you may have wood rot. Other signs of rotting wood include:
- • Beams and posts that easily crumble and have a cracked appearance
- • Darkened areas of timber
- • Fungus growth
- • Shrinkage
- • A musty smell
- • Excess moisture
- • Flaking paint
If you’re not entirely sure that wood rot is the culprit, try walking around your deck and tapping on suspected rotting spots with a screwdriver are similar tools. If you start to hear wet thuds and feel the softness, chances are you have rotted wood.
Rot can expose your wooden structures to many external threats such as mice, insects, pests, and bacteria, leaving your home susceptible to rodent infestation. In severe cases, the bacteria caused by fungi can cause irritation, rashes, and headaches with prolonged exposure.
Wood rot can pose a dangerous problem depending on the damage. The handyman services at RJ Turner Remodeling can help you determine if your deck repair needs are extensive or can be solved by minor changes. If you’re looking for deck repair in Winston-Salem, NC, schedule a consultation to assess your damage.
2. Shaky Railings and Loose Floorboards
Although railings aren’t the main feature of a deck, they are a major safety feature that will keep you, your guests, and especially kids, safe. If you want to test your railings, force them backward and forward. If the railing shifts more than two inches in either direction, it’s time to consider remodeling your deck. Furthermore, you may want to check for loose floorboards and determine how widespread the problem is. If the damage is small or centralized, you may be able to tighten screws and make small repairs.
However, if it’s a general problem caused by rot and deterioration has spread, it’s important to secure a deck that will keep your loved ones safe. Just think of the number of family members and guests who casually lean against your railings. A railing accident is a sure-fire way to dampen a family barbeque.
3. Deck Boards Are Cracked or Splintered
Remember that time you decided to brave the outside barefoot and ended up with an elusive splinter in your foot for the rest of the evening? Splinters are a sign of the natural aging process that occurs with older wooden decks—temperature and humidity cause wood to swell and contract, causing the timber to dry out and crack.
If you notice a gap widening between your house and the deck, you may have damaged ledger boards. Ledger boards are used to keep backyard decks attached to the house. When these boards are ravaged by gravity, the deck’s weight, and other incidents, the entire deck may start leaning away from the house. Ledger board impairment poses a major safety risk due to gaps that may cause tripping or let water seep into the deck’s foundation.
If you want to avoid the trouble that comes with traditional wooden decks and protect your tender feet, consider trying RJ Turner’s composite decking option. RJ Turner Remodeling specializes in this durable method that prevents splintering and guarantees a smooth, personalized surface that requires little maintenance. Composite decking is made from wood scraps and recycled plastic and comes in various tones with fake wood grains. Plus, it’s eco-friendly!
If you are absolutely set on exterior remodeling that includes a beautiful, real wooden deck, you may also check out IPE decking. IPE is an exotic type of wood that is often referred to as Brazilian walnut. It’s the world’s densest species of wood and offers an abundance of benefits, including:
- • Durability
- • Fewer cracks and splinters
- • Low maintenance
- • Fire Resistance
- • Insect damage resistance
- • Eco-friendly
- • Retains less heat
4. Post and Footing Erosion Signifies Deck Repair is Necessary
Erosion is a common enemy of decks. Over time, rainwater and snowmelt can wash away the soil supporting posts and footings—exposing the posts and causing unstable structures. You can often spot this issue when you notice the concrete base is revealed. Likewise, if you see water pooling in your yard with a change of slope, these are warning signs that your ground is eroding and you need exterior remodeling.
Unstable posts and footings may cause your deck to wobble or snap. Continued erosion is a difficult issue that should be addressed as soon as you’re able for the sake of safety.
Rusted nails, bolts, or other accents signify that your deck is old and needs some TLC (or replacement). Rust may not seem like an urgent problem at first, but nuts and bolts are the glue that holds the whole structure together. If they’re ruined by rust, the structural integrity is threatened, and you’re better off replacing the hardware and exploring deck repair options.
Winterizing your deck by clearing debris, deep cleaning, and applying a protective finish may be a proactive step in preventing rust and elongating the life of your deck. Unfortunately, excess moisture and extreme temperatures are a breeding ground for rust and a recipe for disaster for decks.
Furthermore, if you have metal railings or accents that are rusted, it’s a matter of time before they give out at an inopportune moment.
6. Stains or Discoloration May Indicate Deck Repair is Needed
Discoloration or stains may be a sign of underlying issues in need of deck repair. Although stains generally don’t affect your deck’s functionality, harsh substance build-up such as automobile fluid, cleaning chemicals, and cooking grease can tarnish deck material over time and affect stability.
Peeling, fading, and stains are indicators of age that may suggest it’s time for a comprehensive deck remodel.
Exterior remodeling doesn’t need to be complicated. At RJ Turner, specialized options are available for you to renovate a deck that will endure for years to come. If you’ve noticed any of the six signs of deck repair and wish to consult an expert, contact us for insight and information.