Your deck is outside in the elements all year, which means that it will probably need repairs at some point. If the weather damage to it is severe, you may have to replace it entirely. It is therefore important to find out which types of damage are relatively minor and which call for you to invest in a new deck. You will have to inspect your deck carefully to determine its condition. Pay attention to the following factors during your inspection:
The material used to construct your deck will determine how it stands up to wear. For instance, real wood reacts to the elements differently when compared to composite boards or vinyl. Vinyl and composite decks may fade while wood decks can sometimes warp. Depending on the material, you may only need to replace a few damaged boards or you may need to do a wholesale replacement.
Weakened or Loose Fasteners
Your deck's fasteners can come loose because of the expansion and contraction caused by warm and cold weather. Oxidization can also be a problem because of exposure to the air. Oxidation can weaken fasteners.If the hardware is loose or has been weakened, your deck may be unsafe and you may need to replace it.
A Sagging Frame
Rot makes a wood deck more vulnerable to termite infestation. As the termites eat, they make the wood more porous and this allows water to seep even deeper into it and speed up the rotting process. Rot and the termite damage cause the deck’s frame to sag, which is one of the signs that it needs to be replaced.
The expansion and contraction process that loosens fasteners can damage wood and composite board. In many cases, this can be repaired. If the damage is extensive, you may want to opt for a new deck made from a more stable material.
Weak Post Connections
The right fasteners are essential for a longer lasting deck. For example, the deck posts should be connected to the beam with galvanized carriage bolts. If the only fasteners used for this purpose are standard nails, your deck may be in danger of collapse and in need of replacement.
If you are unsure whether your deck needs small repairs or a complete replacement, contact us at Woodscape Construction today! Our experienced carpenters can help you to figure out what has to be done.