As time goes on, your deck can develop problems that need fixing. Here are ten essential tips to get your home’s deck back into good shape:
Inspect the whole deck, significant posts, and joists. Look for cracks, loose boards, and rotting wood that might indicate structural issues.
Inspect Your Deck
One of the best things you can do for your deck is to inspect it regularly. This will help you catch any potential issues before they become too serious.
Checking for signs of wood rot is essential because this is the most significant cause of deck failures. Use a screwdriver to poke into the wood, and if you can quickly push it in more than 1/4 inch, this indicates rot.
Clean the Deck
Clean the deck thoroughly before applying any stains or paint. This is important to ensure an even coat that will adhere well, repel water, and shield your wood from sun damage.
For most stains, use a mild dish detergent mixed with a bucket of water to wash down the deck surface. Afterward, use a scrub brush to loosen dirt and debris. Rinse well with a garden hose to remove any residue.
Over time, wooden decks inevitably develop small cracks. This is due to the constant exposure to heat, moisture, and other climatic conditions.
If the cracks are less than six inches long, you can fill them with latex wood filler. You will have to replace the damaged boards with deck repair Seattle if the cracks are larger.
Replace Loose Boards
Loose deck boards aren’t necessarily a sign that your deck is sinking; instead, they can weaken the ledger that attaches it to your home.
Replace loose or damaged deck boards that have been rotted or broken. The material you use for replacements should be as close in color and variety as the original.
To determine what kind of wood you need, smell each board. Pressure-treated pine has a sweet smell, cedar is aromatic, and redwood has a more pungent scent.
Repair Damaged Railings
A wobbly railing can make your outdoor space unsafe. So, it’s essential to repair or replace damaged bars as soon as possible.
Weather can cause damage to your deck, including loosening railing connections and rotting fasteners.
Wood railings are a popular choice because they’re affordable and can be painted or stained to match the rest of your deck. However, you can also choose more durable metals and offer a range of colors and styles to suit your home.
Repair Loose Nails
Loose nails on a deck are uncomfortable barefoot (potentially dangerous to pets). They also pose a tripping hazard.
Luckily, loose deck nails are an easy fix. Drive them back down with a hammer.
Repair Damaged Flashing
Flashing is a thin sheet of metal used to channel water away from critical areas on your roof. You’ll see it around chimneys, skylights, vent pipes, and dormers.
When you see cracked, bent, or rusted flashing, it’s time to have your roof inspected by an expert. This can save you from costly water damage down the road.
Repair Damaged Joists
If you notice some of your deck joists are starting to rot, consider replacing them. This can be done with the help of a contractor.
First, inspect the joists for any rot spots. Use an awl to probe each post for any signs of damage.
Repair Damaged Posts
Deck posts are prone to rot as they soak up water from the ground. Newer decks usually use a base bracket or higher concrete footings to prevent this, but they still need to be inspected regularly.
If the post is rotting, it should be replaced immediately. This is especially important if the rot has reached the bar’s base where it rests on the footer or if the wood easily peels or is spongy.
Repair Damaged Railings
Corroded or rusty railings can be dangerous, so remove them as soon as you spot signs of deterioration. You should also sand off loose paint or rust and replace damaged fasteners, nails, and connectors.
You can repair wood railings with wood fill epoxy, a two-part product that can strengthen and fill cracks. You can also use epoxies to improve rails with punky ends or soft spots.