Repair Vs. Replacing Your Deck? 5 Things to Consider

A beautiful decking has the ability to connect the cool serenity of your backyard with the warm comfort inside your home. It helps you enjoy outdoor living while taking mere steps outside your back door. Although it offers a perfect scenery, it happens to wear off over time, which necessitates making a decision on whether to repair or replace your deck.

Most problems associated with decking are not always structural because the underlying frame comes with pressure-treated lumber that contains chemicals, which help it combat bad weather, water, and termites. In order to make a decision on whether to repair or replace your deck, there are five important things you need to consider.

Check the Ledger

The ledger is the building material that connects the deck to your house. Decks that seem to be collapsing over a short period always have improper ledger installations. Instead of roofing nails, you should come across galvanized joist hanger nails used during the installation. The flashing should cover the ledger that attaches to the house. You may need to call in an expert to help you with the repair if the flashing is worn out. The ledger is always the backbone of the structure and any heavy rotting, deterioration or damage means that it is time to replace your deck.

Footings, Posts, and Joists

Footings may warp because of seasonal changes or can be too shallow, forcing you to make new ones. However, do not get it all wrong because it does not mean you should replace your entire deck. New footings can be added beside the old ones. It makes more sense to introduce new support to the structure, and then get rid of the old footings without tearing anything down beforehand. This not only saves you time but also money, as long as the rest of the deck is in good shape.

The Condition of Wood

Pressure treatment is known to be a preservative and can make your deck last longer. The only way to determine if the wood was pressure-treated is to check for the usual green hue. It might turn out to be cedar or redwood, so the best way to check for the green treatment is to cut off a small end-piece from the material. Although redwood and cedar are naturally resistant to insects and rot, pressure treated wood always lasts longer compared to its counterparts. Poking it with a screwdriver will give you a clear picture of whether it has started to rot. If it enters the wood so easily, you have no option but to replace those deck boards.


It is quite unfortunate that most people tend to overlook this safety feature until they find themselves leaning against them. Rotting wood or loose posts at the joists are always the major cause of the problem. It is good to try to re-secure the wood railings with new ones because they are typically attached with the nails. This will only help you in the short-term but you can always switch to another long-term solution. Carriage bolts with nuts and washers seem to be a stronger alternative, as they have minimal chances of damaging wood. Furthermore, since they are steady they will provide safety to everyone standing on your deck.

Check the Fascia Board

Fascia board is a wide thin board used to wrap around the deck perimeter. It helps conceal the ends of the deck boards and can be found just below the deck boards. Although it is not a structural board, fascia is used to provide a neater appearance to your deck. Despite its unique features, it can sometimes keep moisture trapped against the beams attached behind it serving as a water trap. The fascia is possibly causing rot or trapping moisture if you notice discoloration in your deck boards. In case of this, you will need to replace your deck right away.

No matter how frequently you maintain or inspect your deck by sealing and staining, it is always a wise idea to schedule for a periodic replacement of its surface. If it arrives at that point, you might consider replacing the surface of your deck with composite decking. Although it might resemble the appearance of the real wood, it resists damaging elements better than wood. The ideal time to inspect the substructure of your deck is when you remove the surface. If you notice any damage in the substructure, it is wise to consider replacing the entire deck.

Client Testimonials

J.Widener from Newton, NJ

“Outstanding team. Very impressed with the whole process and the most with my new beautiful deck!”

S.Long from Franklin Township, NJ

“The deck looks FANTASTIC. I still can’t believe that Deck Guardian was able to resurface my old, ugly deck. Our neighbors have stopped by to comment on how great the deck looks. The attention to detail, work ethic and professionalism set this company apart. I highly recommend Deck Guardian!”

M.Lewis from Fleminton, NJ

“We have received numerous compliments from Neighbor’s and friend’s who think that the finished project looks terrific. Not only do I appreciate the “quality job”, but I really appreciate the professional manner Skip handled all the details!”

L.Cohen from West Orange, NJ

“When I came home yesterday, I could not believe how amazing my newly resurfaced deck looked. Crew did an amazing job. It was also a pleasure to work with your salesperson, very professional and knowledgeable!”

S.Smith from Chester Township, NJ

“I’m completely impressed. I have dealt with my share of contractors as I have been updating my home for several years. Deck Guardian gets the gold medal. Deck Guardian restored my 10 year old deck & fence to a brand new condition. I am amazed!”

P.Tang from Westfield, NJ

“Deck Guardian Team did a good and pleasant job to give us a professional service and a beautiful new deck, without replacing it. We love the color and the way it feels like. Highly recommended!”

Kathryn Barchi from Piscataway, NJ

“My husband and I had recently moved into a new home and quite quickly we learned of so many things that both us and the home inspector missed prior to the purchase; the deck being one huge item. We quite desperately wanted to use our deck and know that it was safe for us, our kids, our pups, and our guests, which in the original state, was definitely not the case. Deck Guardian to the rescue! The Deck Guardian team, from the free estimate to the point of project close, were quite wonderful to work with entirely. They even pointed out additional things we had missed with regards to the safety of our deck. Of course, best of all, the Deck Guardian team was able to work within our budget, while giving us back our deck with a new lease on life. Deck Guardian far exceeded our expectations and for that, my husband and I can not thank them enough!!!”

Jessica Ravitz from Skillman, NJ

“Deck Guardian completed an amazing deck replacement project for us in less than 2 weeks after we signed our contract. Not only did they provide an extremely competitive price, we got a beautiful deck that so greatly exceeded our expectations! Everyone at Deck Guardian is wonderful – from the estimator, the crew and the administrative staff – very friendly, professional, meticulous and hard working. We are so pleased and give the highest recommendation!!! Thank you Deck Guardian!”

Paul Cichello from Bridgewater, NJ

“I contacted Deck Guardian and was given an estimate the very next day. The representative was very knowledgeable and fair. The workers were polite and professional. We are satisfied with our new deck and would recommend Deck Guardian to anyone who wants quality work.”