How to Properly Maintain a Wood Deck
If you have a wood deck, it is important to perform regular maintenance. This will help prevent serious problems from developing in the future. Depending on the type of wood, a typical wooden deck should last between 15 and 20 years. However, if you leave it up to chance, your deck could suffer major damage.
One of the most common causes of deck rot is moisture. Water damages wood, causing it to become soft and warp. In addition to affecting your structure, it can also lead to mold and mildew. Mold is toxic to humans and pets, and can cause a variety of health issues. Therefore, it is important to address any mold or mildew problems as soon as possible.
Whether you are considering deck repairs or replacing your deck altogether, there are several steps you should take before you begin. First, you should gather all of the tools and materials you will need to complete the project. A tape measure is the most basic tool you should have.
Next, you should make sure you have a good understanding of how your deck works. If your deck is more than 20 years old, you should have it inspected by a professional. Your deck’s joists should be checked to ensure they are not damaged or infested with bugs. Additionally, you should inspect your joist hangers for rust. It is a good idea to hire a professional to assess your foundational work, because they will be able to tell if you have a weak connection or if your joists are rotting.
Once you have determined that your joists and hangers are in good shape, you can begin repairing your deck. Some repairs involve removing or replacing boards and joists. Others may require more advanced carpentry skills. Before you start any deck repairs, you should check to make sure you have the right materials. For example, if you plan to replace a deck post, you will need a hydraulic jack to lift the deck off the ground.
Next, you should check your railing and other built-in features. Stairs, railings, and even outdoor rugs can trap water and humidity. You should also take care to make sure you are not pushing against these items. Leaving them unsecured is a safety hazard, and can also lead to injury.
Deck repair can take some time, but it is well worth the effort. A damaged deck can make your home look less than attractive, as well as pose a hazard to your family. Even the smallest problem can be an accident waiting to happen. So, you should never put off a repair job.
If you are in the market for a new deck, consider a composite lumber deck. They have a reputation for being low-maintenance, and they don’t require sealants. Composite lumber is also resistant to the elements. Depending on the manufacturer, your new deck may come with a warranty.
While you can perform some minor deck repairs yourself, you should always call in a pro for more complex projects. Having a contractor perform some of the heavy lifting will save you a lot of hassle. Choosing a company with a good track record is essential. Make sure to research the company and ask for references. Also, look at before-and-after pictures.