Having a deck is like having your own outdoor retreat! Decks are a great place to spend with family and create lifelong memories. After years of BBQs, late-night talks, and crazy winters your deck takes a toll. Unfortunately, they do not last forever and need to be replaced. Not sure when it’s time to replace? Look for these 7 signs!
Deck Boards are Soft – If you find your deck boards to be soft this means they’re rotted. After wooden deck boards have been installed and set over time they might cup or warp. When this happens cracks start to form letting water infiltrate and causing rot from the inside. If this issue is not taken care of right away the rot will spread. To find out if your deck boards are soft push in a screwdriver and see if it goes in. If it easily sinks in without a problem then your deck boards are rotted.
Rotted Posts – Deck posts are what hold your deck up and if they are rotted it can become extremely dangerous. They will no longer be able to handle the weight of the decking and could collapse, so if you notice rotted posts you should replace them.
Deck is Sinking – When looking at your deck and notice that it is sinking or sagging to one side it could be because of water erosion. Underneath your deck is typically natural soil and it can be slowly eroded away by water, as this happens your deck will dip over time. Making your deck an eyesore and susceptible to more damage.
Ledger is in Bad Shape – The ledger attaches your deck onto your home. If you notice that is has pulled away your deck will eventually collapse and completely fall off if enough pressure is put on it! Your ledger should also have a ledger flashing. A ledger flashing is what helps keep water from entering in-between your home and deck. If your ledger does not have one it will cause rot and could let water enter into your home. To find out if your ledger does check and see if it has a metal or plastic piece over it. If it doesn’t highly consider getting one when updating your deck.
Inspect the Joists – The joists are another vital part of keeping your deck up. If they are rotted or broken this will affect the foundation of your deck. Joists are also hard to replace since you have to tear off parts of your deck just to get to them.
The Railing/Deck Boards Shake – Nothing on your deck should move or shake when you touch or lean on it. If you can shake your railings back and forth it is no longer sturdy and can be very dangerous. Since your deck railings are a place people tend to lean on you definitely want to make sure it is reinforced. When walking on your deck if you find the boards are wobbling or you fear that you will fall through it is a sign that your deck has seen better days and needs to be replaced.
Age of your Deck – Things age with time and living in New England means that your deck has dealt with years of harsh weather. On average the lifespan of a wooden deck is about 10 years maybe even longer if you keep up with the maintenance and the average life of a composite deck is about 25-30 years. Once your deck has reached its lifespan you should evaluate your deck and see if it is time to fully replace.
If you see any of these signs then it is time to start thinking full replacement. It is important to catch on to these signs early so nobody is harmed while enjoying the deck space. When in doubt always call a professional to assess your decking because they know exactly what to look for. If you find that it is time to replace your deck you might want to think about installing composite or pressure-treated wood decking. These options are low maintenance compared to natural wood decking and options like composite decking are fade, rot, and insect resistant giving homeowners peace of mind. When the time comes trust your decking project with Care Free Homes! We have been in business for over 40 years and take great pride in our work. Get a free quote by contacting us online or calling (508) 997-1111. Looking for inspiration? Check out our past decking projects here.