Let’s get straight to the point, your deck isn’t what it once was. It’s getting old, rickety, and discolored. There are cracks in the wood, or maybe your railings are starting to come a little loose. No deck lasts forever. The weather is bound to take its toll when push comes to shove. Maybe it’s time you freshen things up.
Deck replacement can be quite a process. Even if the only aesthetic change is to the type of material you’ve chosen to roll with this time around, new deck installation isn’t easy. Here are some signs to look out for when considering replacing your deck, and some tips on the best ways to get a new deck installation done.
1. Wood rot and degradation
Wood rot on your deck isn’t too hard to spot, but it can be one of the most detrimental factors when it comes to the condition of your deck. Wood rot originates from microbes eating up the fibers in wood that provide its rigidity. These microbes spread quickly, and the wood rot will come along with it. If you don’t spot it quickly, it can rapidly eat away at your deck. Once it spreads, chances are you’re going to need an entirely new deck installation.
To spot wood rot, check for darker patches, soft and spongy wood, or cracked wood that crumbles when dry. There are plenty of other signs, so make sure to cover all your bases. Of course, if you’ve got a PVC or composite deck, you don’t need to worry about it. Consider replacing your wood deck with a Pvc/composite deck, or other low-maintenance material.
2. Loose railings
Though having loose railings might not always mean that you need to entirely replace your deck, it can coincide with other problems that you should be on the lookout for. For one, safety is always key, so making sure all those loose parts are tightened up is important.
But loose railings can also be a sign of poor handiwork or over-exposure to harsh weather conditions, wearing away at the base of your railing. Either way, depending on the scale of the problem, a full-on deck replacement might be in order. Loose railings can be the difference between a 20$ and a 2000$ fix, make sure to inspect them properly.
3. Bad Post Conditions
If your posts are made of wood, check them for wood rot the same way you would with the deck boards on your deck. Your posts are what hold up the majority of the weight of your deck, and provide structural integrity. If they’re soft or decaying, the stability of your deck could be on its last legs and are a safety hazard for you and your family. Issues with posts can often lead to a completely new deck installation or replacement.
If it’s to the point where the posts look like they’re rotting away, it’s recommended that you replace the deck right away, and refrain from using the deck until a deck builder comes in to replace it.
But if the issue is less serious, like water pooling around the base of the post, speak to a deck builder about how you can divert water away from the base.
Another effect the weather can have on your deck is in the way that it can rust whatever metal parts you may have used. From nails and screws to larger fixtures beneath your deck, replacing or repairing any rusted fittings will increase the longevity of your deck. It’s especially important to check up on any rust if your deck is older, around 15-20 years old.
5. Pulling away from home
One of the more obvious indicators of necessary repair to a deck is on its ledger board. The ledger board is the part that connects your deck to your home. The deck may start to become unattached from your house, in which case a big repair may be in order. Many environmental factors can play a role in the separation of the ledger board from your home, so if you live in a region with heavy snowfall, keep an eye on it.
6. How old is your deck?
The older your deck, the more likely it is that all the prior issues may occur. Wear and degradation happen over time. A general rule of thumb for when you should get your deck professionally inspected is that it should be looked at after about 5-6 years. If you’re in a colder climate, one with more intense weather (either intense heat or intense cold), checking it more frequently is recommended.
Mississauga decks and trim offer a 10-year workmanship warranty on all their decks, so you can be safe in the knowledge that your structure is safe and sound.
Things to consider when replacing your deck
Though it’s more costly, PVC or composite decks will tend to last longer than natural wood decks. Water, bugs, and other external issues won’t be a factor with that sort of material. Mississauga Decks and Trim offer low-maintenance materials that come with manufacturer warranties ranging from 25 years to a lifetime.
If you still want a wood deck, consider heat-treated Ash, or exotic hardwoods like Ipe, Garapa, and Cumara among others. Ipe especially is known for its durability and can last over 75 years without rot.
Should you replace or just resource your deck? Hiring a deck builder to give you expert consultation on the scope of the repairs necessary can save you money and time.
Make sure to ask your deck builder what steps you should take towards the maintenance of your deck, regardless of whether it’s a composite deck or a wood deck.
For a consultation on your deck, and to get an expert deck builder opinion on whether or not it should be replaced, you can contact us at Mississauga decks and trim at this link or call us at