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The Top 5 Signs You Need Deck Repair

As longer, warmer days signal that spring and summer are on their way, it's easy to imagine relaxing on your deck, barbecuing, sipping lemonade and enjoying long, lazy evenings outdoors. Your pets and children playing in the backyard, while you and your better half unwind on the patio soaking up the glorious sunshine.

But if your deck is looking worse for wear, what should feel like a place to relax might actually become a source of stress as you think about all the work that needs to be done to get your deck looking summer-ready. Like anything else in your home, even the most sturdily built decks require a little TLC. But instead of worrying about when you're going to find time to tackle the repairs, you can delegate the task to our pro contractors. Our team of service professionals are experts at maintaining decks of all shapes, sizes and materials. Each of our technicians have a minimum of 10 years' experience in the trades, with some of our team members having spent upwards of 40 years honing their craft. We've handled a wide range of repairs for homeowners across Frederick County, and we truly are the experts at making your outdoor living spaces look like a dream come true.

That said, sometimes it can be tricky to know if you even need deck repairs in the first place. While some signs are easy to spot, like peeling paint or loose deck boards, others can sneak up on unsuspecting homeowners. Rot can hide under boards and behind paint, soft boards might not be obvious until someone steps on them, and erosion around concrete deck footings might not be apparent until it's too late. As soon as you notice any of the following red flags, call our contractors as soon as possible. We'll efficiently make the repairs so you can enjoy your outdoor oasis all summer long.

1. Rotting Beams and Posts

Wood rot can sometimes be hard to spot, but needs to be dealt with immediately. If left to its own devices, the rot will cause serious structural damage, including the risk of a collapse. Wood rot is a microscopic fungus that breaks down wood. It's part of nature's decomposition process and is intended to help clear fallen logs and trees on forest floors. But in your property, it's cause for concern in both indoor and outdoor areas.

Most modern decks are built on support posts that rest on concrete footings. Unlike wood, concrete does not absorb moisture from the earth that enables wood rot to spore. But if you live in an older home, or have a deck that was built incorrectly, there's a higher risk that rot might occur. Even treated wood can rot in the right environment. Once it starts, wood rot is very tricky to get rid of. If you notice soft or deteriorating planks and beams, a contractor will need to replace any affected areas immediately.

2. Cracked or Splintered Boards

No material is impervious to constant exposure to humidity, changing temperatures, sun, rain and wind. As time goes on, the elements will take a toll on your deck—even if the wood has been stained and weather proofed. You might notice a few boards that are cracked and splintered. A couple of damaged planks are not a huge cause for concern and can be easily fixed by one of our expert contractors or carpenters. However, if you're noticing significant cracking and deterioration throughout the entire deck, you'll likely need more extensive repairs.

Even the best built wood decks don't last forever. If you take proper care of the structure, it should last between 20 and 25 years. It's important to invest in regular sanding, staining, painting and sealing to properly maintain wood decks. Yet, eventually, Frederick County weather will take its toll on your space.

3. Deteriorating or Loose Railings

Not only is a loose railing a sign that your deck needs attention right away, but it's also a serious safety hazard. Your family, particularly small children, could be injured from a fall caused by missing, improperly spaced and wobbly railings. If you've noticed your railings are not as sturdy as they used to be, it could be that the post's frame is weak. Look for loose carriage bolts or screws. Since decks are exposed to the elements, the posts expand and contract as they go through the cycle of getting wet and then dry again. This process causes bolts and screws to loosen over time. If the fasteners are not the issue, the problem could be wood rot. This will cause the railings to decompose and eventually fall apart.

4. Erosion Around Posts and Footings

Whether your footings are wooden or concrete, both will be impacted by erosion, although this is particularly an issue for older homes. You should regularly check around the original deck footings to make sure they are still stable. We suggest looking at your footings at least twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.

Erosion is a natural process. As rainwater and snowmelt wash away the soil supporting posts and footings, the posts become exposed and unstable. Signs of erosion are pooling water in your yard, a change in the slope of your lawn and exposed tree roots. These indicate the ground is shifting and eroding, and your deck might be affected.

5. Poor Maintenance

Properly caring for your deck means it will last longer. Regular maintenance is integral to preventing dirt, the weather, stains from moss and mildew, and constant use from leaving your outdoor space look worse for wear. The team at Mr. Handyman can help you stay on top of your deck maintenance.

Common areas that are often neglected by Frederick County homeowners include:

  • Regular sealing and applying fresh deck stain

  • Checking stairs, railings, boards, joists and planks for signs of wear

  • Using a hammer to flatten protruding nails

  • Using a pressure washer to give the area a deep clean

  • Quickly addressing spills and stains

  • Sanding peeling paint and replacing with a fresh coat

  • Regularly moving outdoor furniture, plants and barbecues to dry out moisture

Book the Experts at Mr. Handyman Today!

Are you ready to get your deck summer ready with our professional services? Call the experts at Mr. Handyman of Greater Frederick and Hagerstown. Our contractors will efficiently make the necessary repairs to your backyard deck or porch while maintaining our dedication to quality service. Our team has years of experience, a diligent work ethic and superb attention to detail that enables us to provide exceptional service time and time again. We treat all our customers respectfully—as if you were our friends and neighbors actually. Together, our technicians and office staff work hard to ensure you have a positive experience with our company, every job.

To book an appointment or learn more about local services, we invite you to call our friendly customer service representatives at 301-259-3469 or request a service online.