10 Porch Repair Tips from Mr. Handman of Frisco, TX
Was that porch you had installed a decade ago the envy of all your friends and family but is looking a little worse for wear these days? From afar, it looks great, but as you get closer, you can see peeling paint, sun-bleached boards, and rotting wood. Though you'd love to get your outdoor living space looking like new, you're reluctant to spend your hard-earned money on something that's just going to be battered by the elements again. That's where our Frisco porch repair solutions come in handy.
Replacement is a concern that many people are considering porch repair in Frisco, TX. After all, between the hot Texas sun and the thick, muggy air, it can seem like wooden porches in Frisco just don't stand a chance. But what if we told you that you could get your porch looking great again without having to spend very much—and prevent it from deteriorating further.
Below, we’ve included our top 10 cost-effective solutions for porch repair in Frisco, TX. With the help of a Frisco handyman and these project tips for deck repairs, you can get back to hosting outdoor dinner parties and barbecues this summer.
1. Use a Sealant on the Porch Floor
As long as your porch wasn’t built in the distant past, you likely remember that a sealant was applied following installation. What many people in Frisco don’t realize is that a sealant isn’t a one-and-done kind of deal. Sealants should be reapplied every one to three years to keep beautiful porches looking their best.
Two terms that are sometimes used interchangeably by people in Frisco are sealants and stains. While they perform some of the same functions, they're not the same product. The primary purpose of a sealant is to protect the wood from moisture damage by creating a barrier between the wood and the elements. Unlike transparent sealants, stains have some level of pigmentation. Their purpose is partly decorative—to provide color to the decking material—and partly functional—to minimize UV damage.
When looking for sealants in Frisco, look for an all-in-one stain and sealant product. This reduces the amount of work (and cost) that you’ll need to worry about. Alternatively, you can refresh your porch with a stain of your choice, followed by the application of a sealant after 48 hours.
2. Use Wood Filler to Halt Wood Rot
Before applying a stain or sealant, you'll want to make sure that the wood on your porch floor is in good enough condition to do so. Some of your boards may be warped or rotting. Taking steps to prevent wood rot going forward is a start, but what can you do about the boards that are already damaged?
Believe it or not, the only option isn’t to replace the rotting wood with new boards. If the damage is minimal, you can use wood filler to halt wood rot in its tracks. You’ll want to scrape out any rotten wood first, ensuring it’s completely removed. Then, you can go in with filler to fill any grooves or holes caused by wood rot. After you’ve added it to the affected areas, allow it to cure, then sand it down to match the rest of your porch.
3. Sand the Porch Floor
Many Frisco porches could benefit from a good sanding. There are multiple reasons why you may want to sand your porch down. These can include:
- Removing peeling paint or changing the color of the stain
- Eliminating scuffs, dents, and scratches
- Finishing off rotting boards that have been repaired with filler
This is, of course, assuming you are repairing a deck made of wood. A composite deck cannot be sanded but should also not require sanding as composite lumber is more durable than wood.
4. Pick a New Paint
Here's the catch when it comes to using filler. Although the repair job will prevent your boards from continuing to rot, they won't look like wood. Imagine what a drywall repair looks like prior to the wall being repainted. Wood filler is essentially a drywall repair for wood and requires a paint job to finish it off. Because stains are generally translucent, they won't do a good enough job of covering up the wood repair.
If you previously had a stained porch that showed the natural grain of the wood and repaired rotting wood with epoxy filler, you’ll have to paint over the entire area. While this may be a different look than what you had in mind, it’ll cost a lot less than a brand-new porch. Plus, with such a wide variety of outdoor paint colors available in Frisco, you shouldn’t have trouble finding something you like.
5. Replace Boards Only as Needed
The Frisco porch repair solutions suggested thus far are excellent cost-effective options for wood porches that only require minor repairs. But what if your wood rot problem is more widespread? In this circumstance, you may need to compare the cost difference between a large volume of wood fillers and some basic lumber. At a certain point, it will be not only more budget-friendly but also require less work on your part.
However, unless the entire structure is rotting and beyond saving, try to only replace boards as needed. Removing boards is fairly simple—the trick is to avoid harming boards you’d like to keep during the removal process. To remove a rotting board, you’ll need a drill or a claw hammer to take out screws and nails. Then, using a crowbar, pull the board up. If the wood is rotting, it probably won’t come apart in one piece. To avoid getting a splinter in the eye, ensure you wear safety glasses.
6. Shop for Pre-Used Lumber
Most of us automatically run off to the hardware store when we need some lumber in Frisco. While hardware stores sometimes offer the best price, this isn’t always the case. If you’re on a budget, it certainly doesn’t hurt to shop around.
Some other places you might be able to find lumber in Frisco include:
- Reuse Centers
- Salvage Stores
- Demolition Sites
It should go without saying, but avoid trespassing on a demolition site and take what you find. Always make sure you ask for permission. Many hardware stores in Frisco also have bins with pre-used wood available. Anything with the label 'reclaimed' on it is likely to be more expensive than a brand-new basic 2x4, but these bins sometimes have boards in their original condition for less.
7. Tighten the Rails
Up until this point, we’ve mainly talked about repairing the porch floor. Frisco porch repair can also include making repairs to the rails, posts, and stairs. If your railings are not as sturdy as they used to be, the first step is to figure out why. Probable causes include:
- Rotting wood
- Damage due to pests
- Stripped screws
- Improper use of hardware
- Shoddy workmanship
Wood that is rotting or damaged can be replaced or repaired with epoxy filler, but if it's a hardware issue, you can make a few simple adjustments to secure your rails.
First, you’ll need to inspect the hardware along loose rails. If they’re corroded, they must be replaced. If they appear to be in good shape, try tightening them. Screws that don’t want to tighten have been stripped and will also need to be replaced.
8. Replace the Rails
When railings, stairs, or structural pillars are damaged beyond repair, they’ll simply need to be replaced. While wobbly railings may seem like a minor issue, many people lean against railings without consciously deciding to do so. Even if you warn your grandmother that the railings are loose, there’s no guarantee that she’ll remember. Simply put, loose and damaged railings are a safety hazard for any porch in Frisco.
Cutting and installing rails during a DIY repair project in Frisco is very ambitious. Unless you're a carpenter, you will do better to purchase a rail kit from your local hardware store. Kits are generally more expensive than basic lumber, but if you keep your eye out for a sale, you can come away with a pretty good deal. Of course, you can also purchase the lumber yourself and get professional services from a team like Mr. Handyman of Frisco to complete the actual repairs.
9. Use Capped or Shelled Decking
At some point, it becomes obvious that the time and money spent on Frisco porch repair just isn’t worth it. If you’ve had your existing deck for a very long time, it may be time to replace the boards and rails altogether.
There are a variety of materials used for Frisco porch construction today. Wood is no longer the only option! Composite materials can be used to install a composite deck or porch. Made of a combination of wood and plastic, composite decking is more durable—and more pricey—than wood.
One step above composite decking is capped decking. Capped decking has a composite core covered in PVC. The PVC mimics the look of real wood, so you can have the look of wood without the maintenance that other Frisco homeowners deal with. Quality materials will have a 25-year warranty against warping, swelling, and stains. Because capped decking is made of synthetic materials, it is much more durable and will last longer. This is something to keep in mind when building a new porch. While the upfront costs of composite or capped decking may seem steep, it will save you money and time in the long run.
10. Add Flashing Tape
Though there are more durable options available for porch floors in Frisco now, the deck substructure is commonly still made from basic lumber. By choosing capped decking, you solve the problem of wood rot and mildew, but how can you protect your wood substructure?
The answer lies in flashing tape. Flashing tape is a water resistant tape that can be applied to the joists of the deck substructure. This prevents the wood from getting wet and ensures that your substructure lasts just as long as the rest of your deck.
Porch Replacement vs. Porch Repair
In the past, repair always came before replacement. When clothing is ripped or worn down, holes would be stitched up. Faulty machines simply needed a part replacement. Today, some people in Frisco are once again recognizing the value of repair over replacement and choosing to try to mend belongings and property as their first course of action. While this is admirable, sometimes replacement makes more sense.
To determine whether Frisco porch repair or replacement is best for you, you’ll need to consider a few factors:
- Project cost. Is it less expensive to purchase repair tools and supplies than it is to replace the part entirely?
- Time investment. Is the amount of time it will take to do the repair worth the cost savings?
- Labor cost. Can you do the repair job on your own, making it more affordable than calling in professional Frisco deck builders to replace the porch entirely?
DIY vs. Professional Frisco Porch Repair
Knowing whether you should repair or replace your porch is equally important as knowing whether the repair is something you can do on your own or if expert Frisco deck builders should do the job.
A successful Frisco porch repair often requires the repair services of skilled carpenters. As well-meaning as many people are when it comes to DIY home improvement projects, performing a job without the right expertise can lead to a half-finished porch that never gets completed, or worse—an injury. While you want to save money, time and effort, sometimes it’s in your best interest to hire handyman service professionals for porch repair in Frisco, TX.
For Quality Porch Repair in Frisco, TX, Choose Mr. Handyman of Frisco
Mr. Handyman of Frisco is one of the leading choices for deck services and porch repair in Frisco, TX, and other nearby areas like Whitesboro, Gainesville, or Corinth. If you’re looking for a professional deck builder, you’ve come to the right place. Our experienced carpenters and handyman professionals have an average of 10 years of experience. Additionally, all of our service technicians undergo background checks, and our team is fully insured.
As a Neighborly company, Mr. Handyman of Frisco is founded on 3 core values: customer service, respect, and integrity. We proudly offer fair prices and a workmanship guarantee, so you know the job will be done right and on time.
Ready to get started on your Frisco porch repair? Give us a call today!