Do You Need to Repair or Replace Your Deck?

When was the last time your deck was maintained?

Eventually, decks will start to show early signs of wear and tear. With traditional wood, capped composite and capped polymer as three popular options for decking, they each have their own differences in cost, material and lifespans.  

Traditional Wood 

From cedar, redwood to pressure treated, the type of wood you choose for your decking can make a big difference in how much maintenance it requires and as well as its longevity.  

With an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years, wood is a popular choice for its warm and natural look with a multitude of staining options. It’s also not unheard of to have a wood deck exceed 20 years if it’s extremely well taken care of!  

Though lumber shortages and manufacturing delays have raised the costs of lumber, it has narrowed the price gap between entry-level wood and premium options.

Capped Polymer  

Containing 100% PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) this type of decking contains no wood fibers at all! Capped polymer is made of synthetic material, which makes it extremely durable with a life span of 25 years. Since capped polymer is made of 100% plastic, it doesn’t need to be painted or stained and is a low maintenance decking option.

Capped Composite  

With an inner core made of recycled wood and plastics, capped composite is “capped” by a PVC shell that protects it from harsh weather elements. The PVC shell holds up well and when it comes to maintenance, a bit of scrubbing and rinse is often all that it needs. While it is a more expensive alternative to wood, it is more affordable than capped polymer. Capped composite decking has an average life span of 25 years. 

How Can I Tell If My Deck Needs Repair or Replacing? 

With the summer season upon us, checking the health of your deck from the harsh elements of winter is important. Look out for these warning signs when it comes to needing deck repair or replacement.  

Cracked deck boards and splinters 

Over time, natural weather elements such as sun, debris, and rain will wear on your deck and cause it to slowly deteriorate. Even with the most meticulous care, decks will be less forgiving and will not hold up forever. This is especially true for traditional wood decking when they start to show cracked boards and splintering. 

Deteriorating rails 

If you find your deck railings have become wobbly or loose, it may be a fix as simple as tightening or replacing some screws. If after doing so it’s still not sturdy, your railings could be showing signs of rotting. Periodically checking your railings for stability is an important safety check. 

Rotting posts or beams 

Rotted posts, boards or beams can pose a dangerous hazard. Part of evaluating the health of your deck is to periodically walk around and step on your deck boards. Sometimes rot can be isolated and visible, while other times it can be hidden underneath. If you find there are deck boards that are soft when walking on, call a deck contractor to take a look to rule out or confirm if it’s a rot issue.  

Rusty or loose connectors and fasteners 

Your deck is held up by connectors and fasteners, these are what make your deck structurally safe. Over time, harsh weather elements can cause the connectors and fasteners to become rusty or loose. If you find a rusty or loose fastener, it’s important to have a deck contractor evaluate the underneath of your deck as there may be more hiding. 

Do You Need Your Deck Evaluated? 

Whether you have traditional wood, capped composite or capped polymer, maintaining the health of your deck is key to its longevity. Recommended annual power washing or cleaning, as well as staining, sealing and small self-repairs are integral in keeping your deck healthy and safe. 

Cracked boards, shaky rails, rusty fasteners or rotted posts can pose a dangerous hazard. If you feel unsure about the condition of your deck and have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our team of carpenters can evaluate your deck, spotting any warning signs and provide you with professional recommendations. 

Get in touch with us today at (206) 542-6601 or