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6 Signs You Need Deck Repair

When summer hits, there's nothing better than heading outside to soak up the sunshine, grill dinner on the barbecue, and socialize with friends and neighbors—it's those moments out on the backyard deck that many people look forward to all year round.

But when you've got a questionable deck in poor condition, it really puts a damper on warm weather fun. Rotting boards, popping nails or screws, and wobbly railings aren't just unattractive, they're dangerous hazards for you and your guests to navigate around.

Don't panic—Mr. Handyman of Anne Arundel and North PG is here to save your summer!

From basic repairs to a complete overhaul or replacement, our team of expert handymen have many years of experience repairing and constructing outdoor living spaces for happy homeowners all over the area, including in Annapolis, Crofton, Severna Park, Kent Island, Gibson Island, Pasadena, Odenton, and beyond. We take great pride in serving the people and properties of Anne Arundel and North Prince George’s with quality workmanship and excellent customer service.

While some signs that you need common deck repairs are glaringly obvious, others can be harder to spot. Here is a list of the top six signs that your deck is in desperate need of attention:

1. Wood is Soft to the Touch

Of all the types of materials that can be used, timber is the most common. It's beautiful, durable, and comfortable. But, it does have a weakness—wood rot. Decks are especially vulnerable to wood rot because they're exposed to the elements. Wood rot is decay caused by wood-eating fungi, which requires the timber to have a moisture content of 20% or higher in order to start growing.

Take a good look around for any spots where the wood has changed color or texture. If you find a part that looks stringy, spongy, or webbed with cracks, or is breaking up into cube-shaped chunks, grab a screwdriver and simply press it against the wood. If it sinks right in with little or no resistance, you've got wood rot.

2. Boards Are Cracked, Broken, or Splintered

Over time, the boards of your wood deck take a lot of abuse and suffer normal wear and tear, leading to cracks, breaks, and a splintery texture—not a pleasant outdoor space for bare feet. Depending on the level of damage, your handyman will likely put in replacement boards, but it may be possible to save some of them by sanding or flipping the affected planks. There could also be an issue with the space between boards, as the wood can shrink over time and make the gaps too wide.

3. There's Water Pooling Around Footings

Look underneath at the deck footings, where the posts meet the ground. If you see water collecting in pools around the footings, that's something that needs to be addressed before it causes more trouble. After all, the footings are holding the whole deck up and keeping it stable, so if the water infiltration continues, the whole structure could come down.

Grading or drainage issues are the likely culprits here. A professional can assess the situation and let you know what your options are. The process may involve re-grading the ground under the deck or adding components such as gravel around the footings to assist with drainage.

4. Railings are Loose and Wobbly

This is an easy one to check—grab a hold of the railing and give it a good shake. It should barely move at all, but if it does, it needs to be looked at. Railings are sometimes the only thing standing between us and a big fall. Yet, even if your deck is low to the ground and doesn't really need railings, loose ones can be a problem because people assume they're strong enough to lean on.

Loose deck railings are often caused by wood rot, or an issue with fasteners where stretches of railing are secured to the house or at the corners. They may be able to simply be re-secured, but it's likely your handyman will need to replace them entirely.

On the bright side, this is a great opportunity to add some personality or amenities like a built-in bench around the perimeter of the deck or a new style of railing.

5. Surface is Slimy or Caked With Dirt and Grime

If your entire deck is covered in moss, mildew, or algae—or just filthy—there’s more to worry about than mere appearances. Over time, that build-up of dirt and plants can eat away at the deck, causing bigger problems that are more difficult and time-consuming to repair.

But, if the deck is still in good shape under the grime, the quick and efficient solution is to get it professionally pressure washed—another service that the experts at Mr. Handyman can provide. It's impressive how much dirt and debris a pressure washer can blast away. When we're done, it'll look like new!

6. Paint or Stain is Chipped and Peeling

When the paint or stain is chipping and peeling away, the surfaces underneath are left exposed to the elements and vulnerable to further damage. A floor sander, or even a pressure washer, can be used to remove a lot of the peeling finish, but some parts will need to be hand sanded. Paint or stain can then be reapplied; then, your handyman will apply a coat of sealant to protect the finish.

Count on Mr. Handyman to Get Your Deck Summer-Ready!

You'll want to start using your deck as soon as summer arrives, so this is the perfect time to call Mr. Handyman of Anne Arundel and North PG. With over an average of 15 years of experience, our service professionals have the skill and expertise to not only do repairs, but to create your dream deck from the ground up!

Give us a call today at 410-593-1456 to or visit our service request page to book an appointment, and we'll show you why your neighbors consider us the best choice for deck repair among other handyman services!