With summer in full swing here in Maryland you are probably beginning to enjoy your deck on a regular basis, but is it safe? Oftentimes homeowners go out to their deck in the spring after a long winter to find their deck isn’t in great shape. But how do you know when it is simply time for some repairs, and when it’s time for a full replacement? Let’s look at some things to look out for that are signs you need to replace your deck, rather than just repair it.
Warning Sign #1 – Rotten Decking Boards
A little bit of damage to decking boards can be expected over the years, but if rot or damage aren’t localized to one small portion (a plank or two) you are probably in the market for a new deck. Rotted or damaged decking boards can pose a major safety hazard and should be replaced as soon as possible on a deck. Unfortunately, if the damage is widespread you are probably better off to remove the deck entirely and replace it with a new one.
Warning Sign #2 – Rotten or Damaged Posts
Rot and damage to decking posts is a much bigger concern that damage to the decking boards. The posts are what keep the deck off the ground and if there is significant damage your deck could wind up in your backyard, creating a major safety hazard. If you suspect you have rot or damage to one of more of your deck posts contact a decking company immediately for an assessment.
Warning Sign #3 – Outdated Code Requirements
Another issue with decks, particularly older decks, is that they may no longer be up to code with county and state regulations. It could be that the regulations have changed or that your deck was never built to code in the first place. Unfortunately, a deck that isn’t up to code isn’t considered safe and will need to be either altered or replaced.
Warning Sign #4 – Structural Damage
Major structural damage does happen, especially over the winter or during spring thunderstorms. Things like downed tree branches often cause structural damage to decks that has to be repaired. If you’ve had major environmental damage your deck will need to either be replaced or repaired. Working with a reputable decking company is the best way to determine if your deck is still structurally sound or not.
If you are concerned about the safety of your deck and think you may need to have it replaced or repaired, call us at North American Deck & Patio today. We are a new deck builder in Maryland and we’d love to help you replace or repair your existing deck with one you can safely enjoy for many years to come.