How to Spot Common Problems in Deck Repair
Deck repair can be a great way to keep your home’s outdoor living space safe and in good shape. It also saves you money over a full replacement. But before you start tackling your own repairs, it’s important to know what problems may be causing damage and how to address them.
First, make sure your deck is in good condition and free of major structural issues like termites or mold. These problems should be addressed right away to prevent further damage and protect your investment.
If you need to replace wood boards or the entire structure, you should do so right away to avoid further problems and costlier repairs later on. If the deck framing is sturdy and secure, switching out the wood panels can be a relatively easy DIY project for those who are confident in their abilities.
When a deck is laid, small gaps are intentionally included to allow water to flow through and drain away from the structure. Over time, however, the wood will shrink and these gaps become more problematic. If you see large gaps in between boards, close them up as soon as possible with new boards that have been cut to size.
A common problem with wood, boards can rot due to moisture, sun exposure or insects. Often, rot begins at the ends of a board where it joins another board, but it can spread if left untreated. To fix a board that has rotted, remove the rotting board and then screw in a new board. You can also use a wood filler and finish with a coat of sealant to make the board look new again.
Cracked Boards and Joists
Typical signs of a deteriorating deck are cracking, warping, splintering and sagging. These are all common problems with wood decks, which can be a sign of a more serious issue that needs to be addressed right away.
The joists of a deck are the horizontal pieces that support the wood decking boards. When they rot, the deck can collapse or become unstable. If you notice any deterioration in the joists, it’s best to call a professional.
Check the ledger board that supports your deck to ensure it’s intact and a solid connection to your house. If it’s missing or defective, it could allow water to get in and damage the foundation of your home. Adding vinyl flashing over the ledger board will help keep water away from your home.
If the bottom of the posts that support your deck are rotting, it’s probably time to replace them. If you can’t find a post that will hold the deck securely, you may have to use a temporary post until you can install a post that will be strong enough.
Re-attaching a Post to the Frame
When a post on your deck isn’t in the right place or is cracked, it could cause the entire deck to fall down. When this happens, it can be very difficult to fix, so if you’re unsure, call an expert in deck repair.