So you’re noticing some potential issues with your deck and wondering, when should you replace your deck?
Maybe it’s getting old and rickety or discoloured. There may be cracks in the wood or perhaps your railings are starting to come a little loose.
Heck, maybe it’s all of the above.
Unfortunately, no deck lasts forever. The weather is bound to take its toll over time.
We know that 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.
You may even be wondering if you should repair or replace your deck.
In this blog, we’re going to go through 6 warning signs that it’s time for a brand new custom deck and some key tips on the best ways to get it installed.
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 that. So you may want to consider replacing your wood deck with a low-maintenance material.
Read more about the difference between PVC vs composite decking here.
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 handy work 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 required. Loose railings can be the difference between a $20 and a $2000 fix so you want to 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 your deck boards.
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 which is a safety hazard for you and your family. Issues with posts can often lead to needing a completely new deck.
Click here if you need help finding a high-quality deck builder in Mississauga.
If the posts look like they’re rotting away, we highly recommended that you replace your deck as soon as possible and refrain from using it until a professional deck builder can help you replace it.
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.
4. Rust on your deck
Another effect the weather can have on your deck is 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. Deck is detaching from your 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 detach 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. Your deck is getting old
The older your deck, the more likely it is that all of the issues we discussed earlier will occur. Wear and degradation happen over time.
A general rule of thumb is to get your deck professionally inspected after about 5-6 years. If you live in a place like Canada with extremely cold temperatures, checking it more frequently is recommended.
We at Mississauga Decks & Trim offer a 10-year workmanship warranty on all of our decks so you can feel secure knowing that your structure is safe and sound.
Things to consider when replacing your deck
Although it can be more costly, PVC or composite decks tend to last longer than natural wood decks.
Mississauga Decks and Trim offers low-maintenance materials that come with manufacturer warranties ranging from 25 years to a lifetime. The main benefit is that you don’t have to worry about water, bugs, and other external issues potentially damaging your deck.
If you still want a wood deck, consider heat-treated Ash, or exotic hardwoods like Ipe, Garapa, and Cumara. Ipe especially is known for its durability and can last for over 75 years without rotting.
So when should you replace your deck? When there’s wood rot and degradation, loose railings, bad post conditions, rust on your deck, your deck is detaching from your home, or when your deck is getting old.
Now that you know the 6 warning signs that it’s time for a new deck, you may want to schedule a consultation with an expert deck builder in Mississauga.
Contact Mississauga Decks & Trim (MDT) today to find out how we can help you either repair or replace your deck!