If your outdoor deck looks like it’s ready to get torn down, check again. You might be able to save yourself the cost of a full replacement if certain components are still in good condition. In this blog, decking and fencing contractor Maris Home Improvements shares a guide on how to check whether your deck needs repairs or a full replacement.
Check the Deck Framework
The deck framework is the skeleton of your outdoor deck. As long as it’s in good, sound condition, it should not require a full replacement. Inspect your outdoor deck starting with the footings, which functions as the foundation. They’re typically made of concrete and difficult to replace once set into the ground. It should be set deep enough so it won’t look “heaved”.
Next, inspect the wood framing. This includes the posts and other structural components that the rest of the deck is attached to. After checking the footings, proceed to the posts. If maintained properly, the timber should still be straight, without signs of rot. Using your fingers, look for soft spots. If you can pry off the soft parts with your fingers, then rot has already set in. Also, check for dry rot by tapping the framework using a long screwdriver or a similar tool. Lastly, check the fasteners if they’re damaged, loose, or rusted tight.
Repair or Replace?
Once you have assessed your outdoor deck’s condition, consider what you’ve found. Ideally, the footings and structural posts should be in good condition. Minor rot can be repaired with polymer, but extensively rotten posts will have to be replaced. The same goes for the other parts of the deck. Matching the look can be difficult if the original deck is made of natural wood, but a good decking and siding replacement specialist can help you match the original components.
If your deck requires a full replacement, consider investing in materials other than wood. Materials such as composite mimic the look and texture of real wood, without its maintenance requirements. Also, consider changing the deck layout by either extending it or changing the railing design to something that you’re more comfortable with.