- Kristian Stoyanov
5 Signs That Your Deck Needs Some TLC
Updated: Nov 2, 2022
If you’re someone who has a deck in front of his house, it’s most likely one of your favorite spots of your home. Decks are the ideal solution to wind off in the outdoors because they provide year-round entertainment and enjoyment.
Unfortunately, because your deck is a living space outside of your house, it gets abused by weather factors, bugs, as well as other structural problems that can occur. While decks are a wonderful way to extend your living area, they are investments that need maintenance and repair throughout the years.
Maintenance plays vital importance in your deck’s overall health. Decks that need repair or replacement may not show signs of deterioration at first, but once they do, they will be a lot more expensive to fix.
When an issue or a suspicion that something is wrong arises, a proper inspection will reveal your deck’s actual tear and wear. Check out these common signs your deck needs repair so you can know what to look for.
A loose railing is a threat to your safety. Not only is it a sign that your deck needs immediate attention, but it can also cause injury to your family if neglected. If the railing is wobbly or loose, it could be that the post‘s connection to the frame is weak. Check to see if there are any loose carriage bolts or screws.
Decks are exposed to weather conditions, so as they get wet and dry out, the wood posts expand and contract. As a result, bolts and screws that hold the rail together can loosen over time. Even if your railing’s connection to the foundation is fine, rot can start developing on the structure.
Rot can soften the railings and splinter or cause them to deteriorate.
Another common sign that your deck needs repair is any loose or damaged deck planks or boards. Especially if your deck is older, the wood will crack from the constant exposure to weather changes or pressure over the years.
Wood cracking comes naturally with age, with the difference that some boards age faster than others. If your boards need repair, replacing them is an easy fix. But if the deck seems spongy-like, the entire deck platform is unsafe and needs replacing.
Keep in mind that rot can be lurking in your deck platform even if there’s no visible sign of its presence. If your deck boards begin to wobble, that doesn’t mean the deck will collapse at any moment. Rather, the wobbling boards will weaken over time together with the ledger that attaches the deck to your house.
This alone calls for an immediate repair or even a replacement of your entire deck.
Every deck is built on some type of underlying foundation. If your deck has started to sink, it’s most likely that you’re sitting on top of a foundation issue as the root cause of your problem.
Remember that deck footing is the main support for a heavy amount of weight like furniture and people. Having a strong and stable foundation is of crucial importance.
Rust on Nails or Metal Connectors
When you’ve got missing or eroded hardware, you're dealing with a huge problem. Nuts and bolts hold everything intact, so the more rust you find on the metal pieces, the more dangerous your deck is to use.
If there are signs of corrosion, the deck’s structure can easily weaken. Rusty or broken fittings below the deck pose a risk to you and your family.
Bugs are a nuisance that can cause all kinds of deck issues. The two bugs that cause the most damage are carpenter ants and termites. The most common signs of carpenter ants are wood shavings on the ground below the deck, rustling noises inside the deck, as well as winged ants and shed wings on the deck.
On the other hand, a termite infestation can be spotted in a springy deck, a deck that sounds hollow when tapped, a deck with sunken wood, or one that is simply rotting. Rot isn’t a sure sign of termites, but it can attract bugs.
If you have any of these problems, you should act as soon as possible. Make sure that any cracks or holes in your decking are sealed and keep pipes and wires flush to the deck.
Enjoy a Safer Home
A deck is a perfect spot for relaxing and gathering with friends and family. But that’s only possible if it’s kept in good shape. Time, weather conditions, and lack of maintenance can easily ruin a deck. That’s why it’s important to regularly check your deck for signs of deterioration.
Your issues should be addressed by a reputable contractor. They’ll be able to determine the condition of your deck and the proper repair it should undergo. YourHomeFix can contact you with professionals that will attune to your budget and needs accordingly.