It’s true that outdoor decks can last a long time — particularly if the natural wood is properly maintained throughout the years, or if composite materials were used to build the structure. Eventually though, things will start to break and require attention. Here are four signs that your outdoor deck not only needs repair, but might need to be knocked down and replaced altogether.
1. The wood is warped or rotten
Warped or rotten boards is surefire sign that your deck is either too old, or has been neglected in terms of routine maintenance. When this is the case, it’s fair to say that the underlying structure of the deck is in serious trouble. Is resurfacing going to be an option in this case? Probably not. In situations like this, the only redress is to knock the entire structure down and haul away the warped and rotten wood. The nice thing is that you have a great chance to start over!
2. The deck moves when you walk on it
If you notice excessive ‘creaking’ or movement while walking on your deck, you probably want to think twice before walking on it much more — especially if your deck is elevated above a few feet. There are cases in which a few loose connections can be shored up and repaired by a professional, thus restoring the deck to an acceptable degree of functionality. But in many cases, these are signs of a deck that’s too far gone to be saved. The best approach is the scrap it and build a brand new structure in its place.
3. A deck resurfacing specialist told you it can’t be resurfaced
Deck resurfacing has emerged as a very popular way to get that brand new look and feel at a fraction of the price. By preserving the underlying structure of your deck, while stripping and replacing all the floorboards and hand rails, your deck and look brand new without costing nearly as much. But in order to qualify for deck resurfacing, that underlying structure does have to be in great condition. If not, your outdoor deck specialist will never sign off on a resurfacing project. If you’ve been told that your deck cannot realistically be resurfaced, it’s probably time to think about demolition.
4. You don’t like the design
If you don’t like the layout or design of your existing deck (this is often the case when people buy “used” homes), there are a few things you might be able to do — such as staining or resurfacing — to change that appearance and bring it up to speed. But in many cases, a dated outdoor deck is simply an eyesore — and it has to go.
Outdoor deck specialists you can trust
Knowing what to do with that existing deck can be tricky without the help of an expert. Can the problems you’re noticing be repaired, or is it time to scrap that old deck and start fresh? Could resurfacing be a possibility? Getting the right answers to these questions can help you make the best decision for your home and your wallet — but it’s important to find a specialist you can really trust.