How is your deck working for you these days? When is it time to replace a deck? Maybe you still love your deck but are afraid to walk out it? Don’t let the fear of falling through your deck keep you from enjoying the beauty of Montana. Do you know what to look for in a deck to know whether or not it is in need of replacement or repair? While it’s true that your deck should last you for decades you may still need to do repairs. Here are 5 signs that it’s time to replace or repair your deck.

Rotting Wood

If you are afraid to walk out onto a deck then it may be suffering from some wood rot. Rotting wood can weaken the planks of your deck which could result in breakage. If you spot one piece of wood rot then you need to inspect your entire deck. Wood rot can spread like a virus. If there is one spot there is likely to be more wood rot. A rotting deck can destabilize your deck which could cause injury or at least be an eye soar. If you only have a few pieces of rotting wood then you may be able to stretch out the life of your deck by repairing it before you have to replace it.

Damage to Wood

Besides wood rot wood can also become damaged due to various elements such as weather and insects. Deck inspection is vital to do at least once (preferable twice) a year to insure wood is stable. Items to look out for include broken boards, cracks and holes from insects such as termites. Simple DIY maintenance each season can prolong the life of your deck–see this list of common deck repairs. If your inspection turns up anything out of the ordinary it may be time to repair or possibly replace your deck. The key is to make sure that your deck is strong and firm when you walk on it. If there is any shakiness or weakness then a repair should be made.

Loose or Missing Railings

Have you noticed loose or missing railings on your deck? Loose railings are usually pretty simple to fix if caught early. The longer you leave your railing loose the more unstable it will become. Loose railings could pose a potential safety hazard. Beside deck railings you also should pay careful attention to stairs cases and steps. Non skid padding may also be a good idea to add to your steps as an extra precaution.

Rusted Fittings & Fixtures

Ensuring the wood of your deck is stable is vital however, there are other elements that should not be over looked. Fittings and fixtures that hold the wood of your deck together are important items to pay attention to. During your inspection take a look beneath your deck to ensure that the fittings and fixtures are all intact. Loose, rusted or missing fittings and fixtures could prove detrimental or might result in deck failure. If your deck is an older deck then it is more then likely that your deck is missing a few fittings or fixtures due to weather or age.

Mildew & Mold

Is your deck turning a little greenish in areas? Do you have your own mushroom garden developing? While some greenish mold is normal on your deck fungal (mushroom like) growths are not a good thing to find on your deck. Mold is easy to clean up and is mostly just an eyesore however, fungal growths could lead to serious deck damage. If you see mushroom like growth on your deck then it needs to be treated with a wood stain and a fungicide in order to prevent future issues.

Looking to do some repairs or deck replacements? What could I do to help you take care of your aging deck? Reach out to me and let’s discuss how you can make your deck a fun and safe place again to enjoy the great outdoors.