The backyard deck is a powerful and efficient addition to your home. Not only your home will look better and cleaner, but its value will also be increased with the addition of a good backyard deck.
If you already built a backyard deck, then congratulations. But there is one more problem that you as a homeowner is facing. Your backyard deck isn’t going to last forever.
Over time, your backyard deck will look worn out or even out of service. When this happens, the backyard deck no longer serves its purpose of increasing the value of your home. And a quick repair must be done.
If you’re on a budget, you don’t want to change your backyard deck if it’s still good. To avoid wasting your money, here are the signs that your backyard deck needs to be changed.
It’s quite easy to detect wood rot. If the wood looks damp and discolored, it might be already rotting. You can also try touching the wood and see if it’s soft. These are the characteristics of rotting wood.
Rotting wood won’t be able to withstand the weight on top of it. If you feel that the deck gives in a little bit as you’re walking on top of it, it’s time to change the deck before it completely breaks.
Nails and screws popped up
This problem is commonly found on backyard decks. One day you might notice that the nails and screws have all popped up. You could fix it by hammering them back down again, but soon they would pop up again.
It’s a sign that there is a problem with the wood. Repairing it would be cheaper but you’re just postponing the inevitable. It’s much better to change the entire backyard deck. Especially for safety reasons.
Signs of erosion surrounding the post
It’s common for a backyard deck to be anchored deep in the ground. This technique is very efficient at keeping the whole deck stable and sturdy for a long time.
But the water in the ground will wear away the earth after some time. When the erosion finally happens, the anchor is exposed and weakened. The whole deck will be in danger if it happens and a complete replacement is recommended.
There are gaps between the house and the deck
The backyard deck is usually attached to the house. This allows for sturdy construction and easy travel between the house and the deck.
For an old backyard deck, usually, the connection between the house and itself is looser. This is usually due to the damaged structure.
When the structure is damaged, the deck is unable to hold its weight. Gravity pushes the deck away from the house and gaps are created in the process.
When you see the gaps, you should repair the deck immediately. But if you’re too late to notice it quickly, it might be best to replace the deck. The reason for this is because, water might already seep into the surface boards, framework, and posts, through the gaps. Water damage causes rot and rot could destroy the entire backyard deck.
Steady and sturdy railings are important so no one can get hurt while climbing up and down the deck. If you’re unsure whether the railings are good or not, give them a good shake. If you can easily shake the railings, it’s time to repair them.
Wobbly railings are usually caused by water rot or insect. Do a thorough check on the entire deck, the damage may have spread to other parts of the deck as well. If the damage is severe, it’s better to change the entire backyard deck.
When repairing railings, pay attention. It’s not as dangerous as cleaning gutters of a 2 story home but it’s still where people get injured when they do it themselves.
Termites are wood’s number one enemy. People often find termites too late, e.g. when they already ate the inside of the whole wooden structure. But if you caught them early, it’s possible to get rid of them and repair only some parts that that’s been infested.
Otherwise, the entire structure may have been heavily damaged. Termites work by creating channels inside the wood. This makes it easy for rot to set in. It’s also possible for termites to come back after you got rid of them.