Depending on the quality of wood used and frequency of routine maintenance, the average life expectancy of a deck is around 10-15 years. Left unrepaired, decks become extremely unsafe. Here are warning signs that will help you identify when it is time to have your deck repaired.
Decay or Rot
Exposure to the elements – especially in areas of high humidity such as in the San Francisco Bay area – can cause wood to rot over time. The speed at which this happens depends on a number of factors such as the quality of the wood, how it has been treated (paint, stains, etc.), and how and where water tends to collect or drain. Examine your deck for areas that appear warped, water-stained, or splintered. If the wood planking is deteriorating, it is possible that the same is true of structural supports. This could affect the stability of the deck and should be checked immediately by a professional.
Peeling Paint or Stain
Cracked or peeling paint or stain is unsightly, but also indicates that the deck is not being protected from the elements. While chipped sealant doesn’t necessarily require deck repair, it may signal bigger problems brought on by extended exposure that may damage the wood.
It is common for aging wood to crack. This can be caused by fluctuations in temperature, stress or pressure, or poor sealing or preservation. Cracks are not only unsightly, but can weaken the deck, limiting the amount of weight it can hold.
Injuries can result in loose boards on deck stairs and railings. The higher off the ground, the more important it is to check for compromised steps, hand rails, or railing spindles. Over time, deck screws can loosen, and joist hangers or anchors can rust. This will lead to boards that are unsecure.
One of the big questions that needs to be considered is whether a deck should be repaired or replaced entirely. This is an important conversation to have with a professional. He or she will be able to assess important elements such as the structural integrity, stability of supports, and code compliance that will help make a more informed decision. If you have a deck that is in need of repair,contact us.