Decks can be a big highlight of your house if they are maintained. If they aren’t, they can quickly become an accident waiting to happen. We reached out to professionals with decking experience to see what types of irreparable structural damage they have encountered on decks. Keep reading to find out what they have seen so you can avoid making the same types of damage.
Rotting and Splitting
The most common form of irreparable structural damage is rotting and splitting, which occurs in wood decks that have not been sealed or have gone too long without being resealed. Most commonly, people forget to keep on top of restaining and resealing their decks. This allows water to get into the wood, creating rot and splits that can’t be fixed. As a general rule, resealing your deck once a year is ideal to ensure the longevity of the wood through rain, snow, or generally humid conditions.
Low Quality Woods
One of the biggest structural defects we see, are issues with the support beams. These beams support the floor joists, so they must be installed correctly. We see a lot of beams that sag under the weight of the deck or beams that aren’t fastened securely to the piers. They may also lack needed support. Water damage is a sneaky problem that can compromise your deck’s standing by damaging the deck.
Another issue is that people don’t use quality wood to build the deck in the first place. Cracked wood, damaged wood, or wood that has been compromised and decayed by water can put both the deck and your home at risk for hazards. You may save money upfront by using lesser quality wood pieces, but it can quickly cost you in the long run.
Termite Damage and Dry Rot
The most common irreparable damage we have seen on a deck is termite damage on wood decks and dry rot damage from leaking decks or moisture build-up. The majority of the time with these damages, the deck will need to be completely rebuilt.
I had to repair a vinyl deck in front of a pool at my brother’s house around two years ago. It was a sun-damaged deck, and I needed to hire someone to power-wash and re-stain the deck. At the time, the power-wash and re-staining cost us around $495.
After the first coat, it still didn’t look good enough since some cracks in the corners needed to be sealed. However, with a second coat of re-stain, it had a pleasing appearance. Within a year, though, the color began to fade and the skin began to flake.
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