As the weather starts to warm up, our thoughts turn to sweet summer days spent sipping cold beverages and barbecuing on our decks. Children play outside while parents can unwind with a good book in the sunshine, and evenings are spent away from the T.V. enjoying the beautiful weather.
But if your deck has seen better days, what should be your outdoor oasis might seem more like a make-work-project. Like anything else in your home, as time goes on decks need a little TLC to stay in tip-top condition. While this might require a little labor, the good news is you don't have to worry about it! Our expert contractors are pros when it comes to repairing decks of all shapes, sizes and materials—particularly wood. Our service professionals have a minimum of 10 years' industry experience. Also, many of our team members have been working in the trades for upwards of 40 years. We've handled a wide range of repairs and our team are experts at getting your outdoor spaces looking their best.
That said, sometimes it can be tricky to spot damage in outdoor areas. Rot can hide under boards, behind paint, and sometimes homeowners put off repairs until it's too late. Splinters, exposed screws, nails, and soft boards can be hazardous for your family to be around. As soon as you notice any of the following issues, call our contractors right to make the repairs away.
1. Deteriorating or Loose Railings
A loose railing is a serious safety hazard. Not only is it a sign that your deck needs attention as soon as possible, but it could also cause injury to your family if left unattended. If the railing is loose or wobbly, it could be that the post's connection to the frame is weak. Check to see if there are any loose carriage bolts or screws. Decks are exposed to the elements, so as they get wet and dry out the wood posts expand and contract. This can cause bolts and screws holding the railing together to loosen over time. Alternatively, your railing's connection to the foundation might be fine, but rot is starting to take its toll on the structure. Rot could cause the railings to grow soft, splinter or deteriorate entirely.
2. Cracked or Splintered Boards
Since decks are built outdoors, constant exposure to sun, rain, wind, fluctuating temperatures and humidity cause wear as time goes on—even if your wood has been stained and weather proofed. Generally, cracks or splinters in boards are not a huge cause for concern. Any contractor or carpenter worth their salt should be able to replace a board or two without too much issue. But if you're noticing cracks and deterioration through the entire deck, then you might be looking at more extensive repairs.
Wood decks don't last indefinitely. If well maintained, the structure should last between 20 and 25 years. Although regular staining, painting and sealing do wonders to extend the lifespan of wood decks, eventually the elements will take their toll.
3. Rotting Beams and Posts
Wood rot is never a good sign, whether it's affecting your outdoor space or inside your home. If left unchecked, wood rot can cause serious structural damage and even make your deck collapse. Wood rot is a microscopic fungi that breaks down wood. It's meant to help clear fallen logs and trees in nature, but in your home it's cause for concern.
Typically, your deck should be built on support posts that rest on concrete footings. But if you live in an older home, the structure might rest directly on the ground. Soil is damp, and both raw and treated wood will absorb moisture from the ground. Water infiltration creates the ideal environment for rot to spread, and once it starts it is very tricky to get rid of. If you notice rot, a contractor will need to replace any affected areas right away. Signs of wood rot include soft wood and planks/boards that crumble easily.
4. Erosion Around Posts and Footings
Both wooden and concrete footings are susceptible to erosion. In fact, if you live in an older home you should regularly check the original deck footings to ensure they are not starting to destabilize. Erosion is a natural occurrence. It happens over time as rainwater and snowmelt wash away the soil supporting posts and footings. If the posts become too exposed, the structure could be unstable. Keep an eye out for pooling water in your yard, and if the slope of your lawn starts to change. These are signs the ground is shifting and eroding. You should check to see if your deck has been affected by any changes in your property, and make any repairs as necessary.
5. Poor Maintenance
Without regular maintenance, decks will begin to deteriorate more rapidly than ones that are well cared for. Dirt, stains from moss and mildew, the weather, and constant use can leave outdoor living spaces looking worse for wear. To keep it looking and working its best, be sure to stay on top of regular maintenance or hire the experts at Mr. Handyman to take care of it for you. Common areas where deck maintenance gets neglected include:
- Regular sealing and applying fresh deck stain
- Sanding peeling paint and replacing with a fresh coat
- Using a pressure washer to give the area a deep clean
- Checking stairs, railings, boards, joists and planks for signs of wear
- Using a hammer to flatten protruding nails
- Quickly address spills and stains
- Regularly move outdoor furniture, plants and barbecues to dry out moisture
Hire the Pros at Mr. Handyman Today!
Are you ready to give your deck a new lease on life with our expert services? Call the pros at Mr. Handyman of Greater Columbia and Eldersburg. Our contractors can efficiently and carefully make the necessary repairs to your backyard deck or porch so you can enjoy being outside all summer long. Not only will our attention to detail, quality workmanship and years of experience ensure you're getting the best services possible, but our team is also dedicated to serving our community. We treat all our clients with the same respect we show to friends and neighbors. Our personable technicians and friendly office staff will prioritize your needs and ensure you have a positive experience with our company from start to finish.
To book an appointment or learn more about our range of repairs, we invite you to call our helpful customer service representatives or request a service online for more information.