Keeping a nice-looking backyard is not only about having the right furniture or a fancy BBQ area. Responsible homeowners need to ensure that their infrastructure’s integrity is part of their annual checklist before the outdoor season arrives. This is because harsh weather conditions may damage deck areas. Depending on the build material of your deck, significant maintenance could be overdue if you haven’t already done some repairs yourself before deciding that it’s time to call an expert. There are some telltale signs that your deck is already starting to deteriorate. Here are four signs you should be on the lookout for.
Cracked/Splintered Deck Boards
Although wood is a noble material that will add a pleasant look to your patio, it won’t last forever. Checking to see if some boards are starting to deteriorate can tell you whether or not it requires a full rework, especially if there’s constant care put into applying paint, sealing, and varnishing. After all, it’s completely normal to find a couple of planks in lousy shape. They’re easily replaceable when detected on time. But at some point, you might need to switch all deck boards to keep a unified look and upgrade the materials. For example, composite boards can easily mimic natural wood without worrying too much about water absorption.
No matter what type of structure we’re talking about, damaged wood can pose a severe safety risk if left untreated. Checking the areas where the deck has direct contact with the soil or the concrete foundation blocks is an excellent way to spot any early signs of softened wood. If you’ve detected rotten wood in an extended area, this will require you to hire a professional team for deck repair since you might need a complete overhaul to prolong your deck’s lifespan. In this case, any expert would recommend investing in waterproof materials to ensure proper protection to the internal structure. Termites and other pests can also become a big issue if you don’t identify them on time. They are often attracted to damp wood.
Erosion in Deck Support
No matter if you built your deck in wooden or concrete support, its surrounding soil is susceptible to natural erosion. This is due to rainwater or snowmelt washing it away from the deck footing and posts. Usually, this wouldn’t pose a severe issue to the deck’s stability, especially if the original construction follows current regulations. Still, over the years, your garden will slowly change with tiny ground alterations, and the original structure may not be able to sustain itself in a gradually new landscaping scenario. Even adding or removing a few plants near your deck can affect the support infrastructure in the long run.
Sooner or later, you may detect drainage issues in your patio or underneath your deck during the rain season. You will need to call a deck contractor alongside a drainage system specialist to assess and repair any damages. Again, inspecting underneath the deck after rainy days is a good practice for homeowners. This will save a lot of money on emergency repairs.
Loose Nails and Screws
Another warning sign that your deck may need repairs, nails eventually move out of place due to extreme temperature changes. Outdoor structures are not the only area of the house suffering from this problem, unfortunately.
You have to look into the entire structure to detect whether only some nails and screws have popped out of their spot. As a short-term solution, hammering them down seems like the way to go, but in the long run, they will pop up again since the hole is already slightly larger.
The other solution would be using a new nail in the same place. Reinforcing it with a deck screw for extra strength will be more effective. But if you end up finding too many popped nails in your deck, it is better to ring up an expert to assess what are the next steps to follow.
You have to check for different signs of damage all year round. You have then to determine if you can repair each problem yourself or you need to call an expert. A well-maintained patio is a perfect addition to any home. It provides a great outdoor area where you can spend some quality time with your family and friends. Therefore, it’s crucial to inspect it regularly to avoid any safety hazards. Not only you need to repair your deck for your own safety, but an impeccable patio with beautiful furniture will attract potential buyers. This bumps up your house’s market price if you ever want to sell your home at some point too!