Decks are a popular backyard feature to have and for good reason. Many homeowners with decks have additional usable space in their backyard as well as a place to entertain visitors outside. However, like any other part of the home, decks will need repair and maintenance to look their best. From repairs to replacements, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on how to best take care of your deck. Here are a few common deck repairs you should know and when you should be contacting a pro to help!
Common Deck Problems
If you have a deck, you likely are able to enjoy the extra outdoor space for many months out of the year. But, you should also be performing regular deck maintenance throughout the seasons. This way, you can see any problems before they become a costly issue. The average cost to repair a deck is $1,357, with most homeowners spending between $857 to $1,408. But, this price can vary depending on what the problem is and if you plan on DIYing your deck repair.
Like many home improvements that need to be done, if you need a repair, it’s best to do so as soon as possible. Here are five common deck problems that most homeowners will see:
- Discolored Deck
- Broken Deck Boards
- Deck Rot
- Termite Damage
- Slippery Decking
Problem #1: Discolored Deck
Any exterior part of the home is constantly exposed to the elements. From cold, snowy winters to sunny summertime, it’s likely that water and sunlight will discolor your deck over time. Even if you have the best deck décor on the block, the faded boards can make your space look outdated and run down.
If your deck is discolored, you can easily restore your deck to get it looking great again. While this could be a DIY project for you, it does take some time. You’ll also have to continue to refinish your deck every few years to keep the deck color consistent.
Problem #2: Broken Deck Boards
Broken deck boards are a common problem many homeowners see. Moisture and movement of people of your deck can cause the boards to become weak and crack. While getting this deck repair is easy, it’s not something you’ll want to delay repairing. A broken deck board can be dangerous for anyone using the deck if the problem is left untreated.
If you have a broken deck board, get it repaired as soon as possible. Deck board repairs are often cheaper than a full deck replacement. It’s a good idea to get all broken boards fixed at once to get a better deal when it comes to costs, especially if you’re contacting a decking contractor to complete the work. I don’t recommend this as a DIY project unless you have some experience in carpentry and can make the exact cuts needed to fit a new deck board.
Problem #3: Deck Rot
Most decks are made out of wood, making them susceptible to rot. This can happen if there is standing water around your deck, extreme temperature changes, or leaves and sticks getting stuck between boards. Each of these breaks down the wood by allowing bacteria and fungus to break down the wood, ruining the structure of your deck. If you discover that your deck has succumbed to rot, you must get this repaired immediately.
Much like broken boards, you’ll need to replace and repair the broken boards or supports that have been affected by rot. It’s best to contact a pro who can safely get the job done and help you to prevent any deck rot in the future.
Problem #4: Termite Damage
The number one enemy of decks is termites. These tiny insects make their homes by creating tiny tubes in the wood where they make their homes. As wood decks are outside of the home, this leaves them vulnerable to termites. Decks with termite damage will often feel hollow or soft when touched or stepped on, making it dangerous. Termites can also spread to the structure of your home, if not caught in time.
If you suspect you have a termite problem, you’ll need to call a pest control pro who can help you properly get rid of them. While there are some DIY methods you can try, for a large deck infestation, a pest control contractor can help you be sure the termites are gone. The average cost of termite pest control is $489, with most homeowners spending between $222 and $615. You’ll then want to fix the damaged areas of the deck by replacing boards and beams once the termites are gone.
Problem #5: Slippery Decking
Have you ever walked on a deck and felt more like you were on an ice rink? Slippery decks mean that there’s some cleaning to be done. Mold, mildew, moisture and moss can cause your deck to become a tricky place to walk. But, this is a problem that can be easily remedied.
If your deck has become a little slippery, start with a good cleaning. A pressure washer will help you do the job thoroughly and efficiently. Keep it on a low power so you don’t destroy the finish. You might also want to consider adding non-slip deck paint. You can find this at your local box store. This is a great choice for boat or pool decks that see moisture more often than other areas. Regular maintenance and cleaning will also prevent your deck from getting slippery. Try to clean your deck about every six months.
Decks are a great addition to your home that has a lot of long-term value. However, an undermaintained deck can not only be a hazard to your resale value but to anyone using at well. Inspect your deck regularly and if you see any of these common deck problems, get it repaired immediately.