Should You Repair or Replace Your Deck This Summer?

Should You Repair or Replace Your Deck This Summer?Your deck has taken a lot of abuse over the years from outdoor BBQ’s, exposure to the sun, brutal winters, and your typical wear and tear. If you’re asking yourself “should I repair or replace my deck?” chances are you probably need some sort of renovation. This summer’s makeover can be an easy repair or a major replacement, depending on the damage. Here are some tips and safety hazards you will have to look out for to help you make the best decision for your home.

When Should You Repair or Replace Your Deck?

Repairing or replacing your deck depends on the severity of the damage. If there are safety hazards, such as loose boards or unstable beams, you should consider replacing the unsafe parts, or the whole deck itself. If there is minimal damage—for example, certain rotted patches on the surface or one rotted post–repair your deck for a simple makeover.

If the cost of repairing your deck comes close to the cost of replacing your deck, you should consider a whole new deck. Identifying a severe or simple damage can make the difference from repair or replacement and can save you a lot of time and money.

What to Inspect

When inspecting your deck, you should look out for obvious damage to the wood, rusted fixtures and fittings, loose railings, mold, mildew, and rotted beams and joists. Below are the areas of your deck that should be inspected.

The Surface

The surface of your deck includes handrails, railings, and the boards. This part of your deck receives the most exposure to the sun, rain, and snow all year round; causing damage to wood fibers and leaving the surface of your deck to rot, split, and fade. That being said, the surface of your deck is one of the most vulnerable parts of the deck compared to the post and beams which can also deteriorate the quickest. Make sure to check the surface for any visible damage first.

Deck Posts

Deck posts are the vertical posts that hold up the surface of your deck. Moisture tends to build up at the bottom of the deck posts because they stand vertical underneath the surface making the moisture travel downward and collect at the base.  Overtime, this causes the posts to sink into the ground and creating rotting of the wood, starting from the bottom and working its way up.

Joists and Beams

These are the horizontal beams beneath the surface of your deck that support the deck boards. The beams can hold in moisture where the two pieces of timber meet. If it appears that there is rotting at the ends of these joists and beams, you need to contact a professional for help since this is severe damage and can lead to a safety hazard.

Safety Tips

If you do plan on installing and inspecting your deck by yourself, there are some safety precautions you should always consider. With any tool that you may be using, you should always wear a mask, safety goggles, gloves, a helmet, and sturdy footwear. Always make sure your ladder is secured and sturdy. If possible, ask a friend to spot you. Lastly, if you’re dealing with tools, a recommendation would be to use only one at a time and to stay focused.

If your deck is attached to your home, then the repair or replacement could be covered since it is considered part of the physical structure. Therefore, it may be covered through your “dwelling coverage” of your homeowners insurance policy. Before starting your new project, contact our experts at TJ Woods Insurance to make sure your deck repair or replacement would be covered.