Is your deck missing a nail or is it severely weathered? While the boundaries are often close, it’s usually clear when it’s best to have the deck replaced instead of fixing its problems.
The 4 factors that define your decision: deck repair or replacement?
The extent of deck damage
If we are talking about some nails missing or protruding, some stains here and there, or fading colors, go for deck repairs. When limited, deck damage can be fixed. The fading color is also a problem, if you consider that it indicates either old age or too much exposure to the UV rays. But this problem can also be fixed by staining the deck. Stains and debris can be cleaned. As a matter of fact, inspecting the deck annually gives you the chance to observe such problems and thus, fix them before things get out of hands.
The deck repair cost
Your decision is also influenced by the deck repair cost. If you are asked to pay quite a high amount for repairs – an amount that approaches the cost of deck building, it’s natural that you will go for a new deck. Then again, it’s highly unlikely that some small deck repairs will cost much, given that only small problems are worth fixing.
The deck’s age and overall condition
And then, it has to do with the deck’s age and current condition. If you have this cedar deck for a long time, you may decide to get a new one just to upgrade the backyard and before problems get out of control. If the overall condition of the deck is pretty good, though, and you have spent a lot of money for it, you may choose to replace some rotten boards and do some repairs, instead of replacing it.
Your personal needs
Lastly, it has to do with your budget, your expectations, your current lifestyle. Perhaps, you won’t plan to spend this summer at home. Maybe, you don’t use the deck as much as before. In such cases, you don’t need to replace it just yet.
When deck replacement becomes the best choice
Even the strongest ipe deck will eventually wear. The question is how damaged it is to be worth the expense of the replacement! Well, when we are not talking about some loose deck railings, some rusty nails, and some warped boards that can be replaced, we are probably talking about problems that may affect your safety. We are likely talking about deck problems that won’t let you sit outdoors or at least, enjoy. And when the problem is related with the structural integrity of the deck and your family’s safety, the decision becomes easy. You need a new deck construction.
Which are the deck problems that cannot be solved – at least, not without spending a fortune?
- Water damage. A deck without a pergola is unprotected. A deck built and installed without taking into account the drainage system may become damaged. When wooden decks are constantly wet, they rot.
- Wood deck rotting is always a serious problem. It’s, perhaps, the worse that can happen to the deck since it’s completely destroyed and so, you can step on a board and see it break.
- Similar damage may occur when the wood deck is exposed to the sunrays for long. Wood doesn’t do well under too much heat or moisture. It gets ruined and won’t be safe.
- The deck’s structural integrity is compromised when the boards are rotten but also when the components of the deck (joist hangers, ledger boards, etc.) are seriously damaged.
- Gaps between the deck boards cannot be fixed. The boards are usually replaced. But you need to check why this happened, in the first place. Was it due to wood warping? Termites? Another problem? A deck contractor will be able to tell you if the problem can be locally fixed or the whole structure is weak and must be replaced.