Outdoor decks can last a long time – especially if you’ve chosen to build your deck out of composite material. But whether you go for composite or natural wood, it’s inevitable that repairs will eventually be needed. The good news is that most deck repairs can drastically extend the lifespan of your outdoor deck if done correctly. Here are three of the more common outdoor deck repairs to be aware of.
You might think of resurfacing as less of a repair and more of a restoration, and this is true. When your deck is resurfaced, the entire surface (including handrails and steps) is torn out, leaving only the frame of the deck. New materials are then laid on top of the frame, giving you a brand new appearance and enhanced structural integrity at a fraction of the cost. Some decks are resurfaced purely for aesthetic purposes, while others are done for structural reasons. Before a resurfacing project can begin, a professional assessment of the structure must take place, in order to determine whether the underlying structure is sound. Whether you see it as a repair or a restoration, deck resurfacing is probably the single most effective way to bring an ailing deck back to full health.
2. Replacing individual boards
This is a very common repair, especially in areas with extreme winters and changing seasons. Over time (especially if you have a natural wood deck, and you don’t stain and seal it regularly), the planks or boards start to warp and become damaged. Sometimes this problem is widespread, and deck resurfacing becomes a more viable options. In other scenarios, it’s possible to replace a few faulty boards and achieve a good result. Getting the right wood, the right fit, the right color and the right installation isn’t as simple as it seems, however. If you’re not hiring a pro, be meticulous about this kind of repair.
3. Replacing a post
When a post starts to loosen, warp or otherwise become damaged, it’s simply not possible to ignore the problem and hope for the best. This is a structurally vital part of the deck, and it must be looked after carefully. When a post needs to be replaced, it’s far better to call a professional – unless you happen to have years of experience in this kind of work. First off, you need a new post that exactly matches the dimensions of the old one. The deck also has to carefully braced while the old post is dug out and removed. Proper measurements and careful planning are an important part of doing this repair successfully.
Hiring the right specialist for the job
You’ll probably have several choices when you research deck repair specialists in your area – so how do you “zero-in” on the right one? Pay attention to the company’s web site and whether it’s organized and informative. Ask important questions about the contractor’s experience level and training. And of course, read reviews of past clients! This should give you a good sense of whether this contractor will deliver you the best result and the best overall value.