A deck can last for many years, but over time, it will suffer from damage, both cosmetic and structural. The best way to prevent a lot of money and hassle down the road is to catch any problems before they become a major issue.
Cracked or Splintering Wood: If you notice that one or more of your deck boards are cracked or splintering, it could be because the support structure underneath isn’t strong enough to hold them together. A simple way to determine this is by walking on the surface and seeing if it’s stable.
Wood Rot: If you spot rot on any deck board, it’s probably time for replacement. The good news is that if you’re an advanced DIYer, repairing wood rot is relatively simple--it’s just a matter of removing the affected board and replacing it with a new one.
Soil Erosion: During a heavy rain, water can wash away the soil supporting your deck posts and footings, which can lead to instability. To prevent this from happening, reseal your deck once every year or two and check for any signs of erosion.
Uneven Gaps: When you install a deck, 1/8 - to 1/4-inch gaps are intended for drainage, but they can cause trouble over time as the wood shrinks. To fix this, replace the boards with new ones cut to size--a weekend project.
If you’re unsure of whether you need to do any deck repair work, it’s always better to call in an expert. They’ll be able to diagnose the issue and give you a more accurate estimate of how much work it will take.