If your home has a deck, there’s no doubt that you and your family enjoy it on a regular basis. Thanks to the temperate climate throughout many parts of North Carolina and South Carolina, families can use their decks for the majority of the year. Even if you live in a colder part of these states, summer and fall are prime time for grilling and enjoying the outdoor life!
Decks, as fun as they are, sustain a lot of wear and tear. They are out in the elements 24/7, so they experience hail storms, high winds, heavy rain, chilly temperatures, and extreme heat over the course of any given year. This can cause all sorts of damage over time. While it is normal to have to repair your deck periodically, there are certain issues that should lead you to consider replacing the structure, rather than merely fixing it again You will learn about 6 of these problems below.
- Post erosion – Deck support posts are typically crafted from pressure-treated lumber. While this material will last for quite a few years, it will ultimately begin to erode. Eroded posts will be discolored, splintered, or cracked. The best way to prolong the life of deck support posts is to make sure they are encased in concrete at the base. Most new decks are built this way, but older ones generally were not.
- Post rotting – This issue differs from post erosion, but some of the indicators are the same. Rotten lumber can be discolored or cracked; it will also, however, feel spongy to the touch and may have noticeable insect holes. Rotten support posts are sure to give way at some point, which could potentially injure you or your loved ones. The posts need to be replaced as soon as you realize they are rotten.
- Serious damage to deck boards – Even if you take good care of your deck, the boards may eventually begin to rot or crack for reasons beyond your control. If, for instance, you live in Charlotte, NC, or another colder area of the Carolinas, particularly harsh winters can wreak havoc on pressure-treated wood boards. If the surface of your deck is seriously damaged, it’s time to replace it rather than try to salvage it.
- The ledger boards are pulling away – Ledger boards attach your deck to the outer wall of your house. If they are pulling away from this exterior wall, it could lead to a variety of problems, including unstable deck boards, mold issues from moisture seeping into the gap, or dislodged support posts. Although none of these problems will occur immediately, it’s better to avoid the possibility of them happening at all and replace the damaged ledger boards right away. In some cases, the whole deck might need to be rebuilt.
- Wobbly rails – Not only are unstable deck rails dangerous, but they can actually indicate bigger problems, like rotting or eroding posts. This is not always the case, but it’s worth checking out if you notice your railings are not steady anymore. Sometimes, wobbly rails can be tightened without replacing them, but in most cases, new ones have to be installed.
- Extremely discolored or stained boards – In some cases, no matter how much you scrub, stain, or paint deck boards, discoloration and unwanted staining still show through. If your deck looks old and unkempt despite your best efforts, it’s undoubtedly time to have a new deck put up. You deserve to feel proud of your outdoor living area!
The Hatch Homes team can assist you with any deck renovation, big or small. Whether you have plans to replace a few railings or rebuild the entire thing from scratch, our skilled contractors would be thrilled to work with you. To schedule a consultation, give us a call today. We are excited to provide you with the deck you’ve always dreamed of!