4 Signs it's Time to Repair Your Deck

A crowbar is being used to pull lifted nails out of a worn, peeling deck.
  • 1-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-300

Everyday use of your deck will eventually wear it down to a state of disrepair, and before too long it will become essential to carry out some form of maintenance. Having an effective deck repair plan in place can help you restore your yard's centerpiece to its original condition quickly and efficiently.

1. Stains and Blemishes

One of the most common problems associated with wooden decking is the accumulation of stains and blemishes which are usually caused by simple day-to-day use. Stains ruin the aesthetic beauty of wooden decking and if they are not removed, they can eat through the protective sealant. This will result in further peeling of the protective material, leaving the wood exposed to moisture and ultimately resulting in rot.

Small stains can be removed with a simple solution of water and mild detergent while anything more stubborn can usually be cured by rubbing lightly with mineral solvents and a soft brush. Always remember to rinse your wooden decking thoroughly after cleaning.

2. Broken Boards

A broken board replacement

The wooden boards that make up your decking can eventually become damaged and will usually require some type of replacement. The most common cause of damaged or broken boards is simple wear and tear which can occur quite easily in high-traffic areas. Look for splits in the wood, as these pieces will break soon if pressure continues to be applied. Any boards that are split or already broken should be rectified straight away as leaving them unattended may eventually lead to further damage or, even worse, someone hurting themselves on pieces of protruding wood. Individual boards can be fixed quickly and easily by removing broken parts from beyond the first point of the supporting structure and replacing them with new ones.

3. Dry Rot

Regardless of the climate you live in, dry rot can be a frequent cause of concern and if left untreated, can cause untold structural damage to your decking. Clear signs of dry rot include shrinking boards with dark stains, fungal growth, and a damp, musty odor.

Dry rot usually occurs because of a moisture source. Untreated boards are especially susceptible to this problem because they lack a protective coating. A professional survey should be carried out to assess the amount of damage caused by dry rot, and recommendations will be given as to how to resolve the problem.

4. Loose Screws and Nails

Nailing deck boards

Often homeowners fail to notice loose nails or screws in place. It usually takes a child piercing exposed skin or a rip in a favorite article of clothing before suitable amendments are made. Loose or protruding fixings are a clear sign that deck repair is needed, and people should be discouraged from using the deck at all until restorations are made.

Loose nails should be removed with a claw hammer and new ones should be placed adjacent to any existing holes to promote a more stable structure.