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5 Signs it’s Time for a New Deck

4/4/2015

Category: Decks

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While decks are built to last, they are not built to last forever. There will come the time when your deck will reach the end of its lifespan, and it’s important to take action when this happens. Our Carroll County deck contractors have worked on many different deck replacement projects and we are familiar with the tell-tale signs of a failing deck.

Widespread Damage

Most localized damage can typically be repaired and doesn’t undermine the safety of the entire deck. For example, if you left a flower pot without the drainage saucer sit on your wooden deck all winter long, this probably resulted in a circle-shaped rotten spot. There may be one or two boards you have to replace now, depending on how the pot was positioned. However, if there is extensive termite damage that spans over all supporting beams, this situation warrants deck replacement.

Sagging or Leaning Deck

Sagging and leaning are both signs of serious structural damage. Your deck should be parallel with the ground without any deviations. Decks may sag for many reasons, from improper installation to termite damage and rot.

Loose & Shaky Parts

Are you afraid to lean on the railing because it looks like it can fall off any moment? Do the boards feel spongy when you walk on your deck? Do you constantly find empty rust-filled holes where nails should have been? These are all indicators of a failing deck. If your deck doesn’t feel sturdy and solid anymore, it’s because it’s too worn out to maintain its integrity.

Dry Rot

If your wooden deck hasn’t been properly maintained, it can develop a dry rot problem. Despite it’s name, dry rot actually needs moisture to thrive. It’s a fungal condition that can quickly consume your entire deck, making the boards weak and brittle. Some wood species are more prone to dry rot than others. Cedar decking, for example, is known to have dry rot issues. Dry rot is especially common and dangerous on support posts where wood meets the ground. Rotten support posts may collapse unexpectedly.

Serious Weathering

No matter how many protective stains and coatings you apply, the wind, rain, sun, snow, temperature and pressure will eventually take a toll on your deck. In serious cases, the decking will start to split, warp, crack and lose its original color. If a large portion of your deck looks like it didn’t weather well, it may be the time to think about a replacement.

In some cases when the damage is not widespread, a simple deck repair may return your deck to the safe condition. However, keep in mind that many repairs are merely putting off the inevitable. If you are dealing with dry rot and want to replace the damaged deck parts without fixing the underlying drainage issue, you will face dry rot again very soon.

Your best option is to invite a qualified Maryland deck contractor to conduct a thorough deck inspection. The inspection will reveal the true extent of the damage, and we’ll be able to suggest the best plan of action to meet your needs and your budget.

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