Should I Repair or Replace My Deck?

A person's shadow on a wooden deck needing repair.

Wood is organic and thus is prone to breaking down over time or growing mold when exposed to moisture. No matter what a deck will always require regular inspections and maintenance to keep it looking great as well as safe. While it’s best to contact a professional to repair or refinish a deck as soon as possible, some situations are more dangerous and urgent than others.

Common Types of Repairs

Repairs are typically cosmetic but also protect the wood from moisture and the elements, insects, and pressure from feet walking on it. These can involve stripping the stain or seal on a deck followed by sanding, power-washing and resealing the deck with a weather-resistant seal strong enough to also keep out any pests. Signs of needed these kinds of refinishing can be flaking or peeling paint on the boards of the deck, splinters, and discoloration, such as bleaching from the sun. 

Rails and nails can become loose over time with people running, stepping, and standing on the wood. These can be trip and fall hazards. Hammering loose nails is not advisable as it only stops the trip hazard but does not address the problem of the wood being weakened.  In these cases, individual boards or posts will need to be replaced. 

Sometimes decks are structurally just fine but look old and worn. If the connections and wood are strong then perhaps a stain is all you need to bring life back into your backyard. Stains need to be applied to clean, dry wood to prevent it from cracking or peeling. 

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When A Replacement is Needed

Sometimes problems have spread too far and the entire deck will need to be replaced. Decks showing these signs of dilapidation need to be fixed immediately. 

Wobbling at connecting points indicates loose nails or joints or soft spots. This can be felt on rails but noticing a bounce, bending, or sinking feeling when walking on the wood could be an indication of looseness or rot. In either of these cases, it is best to step off the deck and to avoid walking or putting pressure on it until repairs are complete.

Metal joints and braces rusted by water damage negatively affect the structural integrity of the deck. When fixing this problem is it important to choose metal that is less prone to rusting and also works well with the type of wood used.

Visible mold and rot can be caused by a multitude of factors. However, it’s important to replace the boards that are affected or the entire deck as soon as possible, and ensure that the new wood is properly treated and sealed.

Choosing Quality Service

Communication is key when working with contractors. Making the right decisions for deck repair and replacement in Seattle means that only licensed and insured contractors are working on your home. A good company will be happy to answer your questions as well as show you examples of their past work and proof of their insurance. They are also knowledgeable on the types of lumber and sealants that are best for the climate and other conditions that will affect your deck. You want to hire professionals who understand how a deck is more than just lumber – it is a part of your home you want to enjoy.

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