When the weather is warm and pleasant, your deck may be one of the most popular areas of the home. But because decks are exposed to the elements, this can create the most common deck problems for any homeowner. Your deck can quickly deteriorate and wear down and possibly become a hazard rather than a retreat. So, we’ve put together some deck problem solutions and tips that will prolong the life of your deck.
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Five Most Common Deck Problems
Fortunately, these most common deck problems have simple solutions that can keep your deck looking great so you can enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.
ONE: Deck Water Damage
Many homeowners have their newly installed deck sealed once and then neglect to ever do it again, leaving the wood exposed to the elements, eventually causing the wood to show significant signs of weather damage. Even the best sealant may wear off with time and need to be reapplied every few years. This is one of our number one deck problem solutions and tips.
The easiest way to test your deck, sprinkle some water onto it and if the water stops beading and instead just seeps into the wood, you’ll know that it’s time to reseal the deck. Remember to clean the deck thoroughly before sealing it and replace any pieces of damaged wood.
TWO: Structural Weakness
Decks are often installed by inexperienced homeowners, which can affect their structural integrity and create one of the most common deck problems and possible safety hazards. If your deck has any give or weakness to it when you walk on it, there’s a good chance your deck needs structural repair.
Check the support structure beneath the deck surface to ensure that the ledger boards, joist hangers and post connections are all complete and secure. If you’re unsure about any connections or support, call a professional deck installer to assess the situation and make repair work if needed. These types of deck problem solutions and tips will give you peace of mind and will be more than worth the expense.
THREE: Board Gaps
Certain types of wood will shrink over time as it dries out, which may create gaps in your deck. Unfortunately, the only way to correct this problem is to remove the boards and replace them.
FOUR: Fading Deck Color
Wood will lose its color over time, slowly turning gray as it ages and accumulates damage and debris. This is a visual problem, but one that you’ll want to fix if you like the look of your deck. Most wood cleaners will restore some of the original color by removing the grime that’s causing the discoloration.
Additionally, you could use a wood brightener as a quick solution for these most common deck problems. As always, be sure to seal the deck after cleaning or brightening the wood to ensure that it continues to look refreshed until the next treatment.
FIVE: Wood Rot and Splintering
Rot and splintering, where the wood is literally falling apart, is the worst-case scenario for an unprotected deck.
Not only is rot unsightly, but it can also undermine the integrity of the deck itself. If the deck has been sealed but still shows signs of rot, it’s important to check the area after the next storm to see where the water is coming from.
Gutters are one of the easy deck problem solutions and tips you should keep an eye on. Often, you may discover a gutter issue or a problem with a fixture that is funneling water onto a particular area of the deck. Rot is also a big problem around handrails or stairs, where it’s more difficult to effectively seal the area.
Rotting is one of the most common deck problems and fixing rot calls for repair, inspection and resealing. Repair any affected boards while inspecting the posts and beams to ensure the deck remains stable. Then, once only good wood is left, completely seal the deck so the rot doesn’t return.
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