Decks are a great addition to any home but require regular maintenance to keep them in top condition. However, there will come a time when even the most well-maintained deck needs to be replaced. To avoid potential safety hazards and enhance the appearance of your outdoor space, keep an eye out for these warning signs that indicate a deck replacement is necessary.
Wear and Tear
As decks age, they experience wear and tear. The typical life span of a deck is 10 to 15 years. If your deck is older than 15 years, you are playing with fire. Your older deck may be rotting in places you cannot see, and it may also be infested with insects that can compromise its structural integrity, such as termites and carpenter ants. Not to mention, the wood may start to splinter and can cause injury. Boards become uneven because they no longer lay flat due to warping, and these become tripping hazards.
If you notice that some parts of your deck bounce or feel soft when touched, you must replace them immediately. These signs indicate that your deck is weakening and could give way. It’s possible that you or someone you care about could fall through the deck and suffer severe injuries. Don’t take any chances – address the issue as soon as possible.
Wobbly or Broken Rails
Broken or unstable rails are a safety hazard. They can cause trips, falls, and injury, especially on stairs or decks. Rails can loosen because they have been fastened improperly. Other types of fasteners are often used that do not allow the rails to be held firmly in place. When the wrong fasteners are used, the rails are not embedded firmly into the deck posts, so they loosen over time. With a correctly built deck, flag screws and bolts will embed the railings into the deck posts firmly, so they will not loosen.
Deteriorating Ledger Board
The ledger board is responsible for securing your deck to your house. When the ledger board deteriorates, your deck can detach from your home and collapse. You must inspect your ledger board periodically for wood rot or pest infestation. If you notice that the ledger board has been compromised in any way, you need to get help immediately.
The Integrity of Your Deck Joists Are Compromised
The deck joists are designed to support all the deck planks, and they are attached to the ledger board to create the foundation for your deck. Deck joists will weaken and decay over time due to exposure to the elements. Compromised joists can mean that your deck can collapse anytime, so replacing your deck is necessary.
Always seek the help of a professional in building your deck as licensed contractors are aware of building codes and safety standards. Plus, licensed contractors have the training and experience to do the job correctly. If you live in Norman, OK and need a deck replacement, contact SH Renovations about our deck and patio services.