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Hammer used for deck repair service to replace a broken board.

Do You Need Deck Repair? Here are the Top 6 Signs Your Deck is in Rough Shape

From grilling dinner and relaxing with a cold beverage to socializing with friends and family, your backyard deck is one of the very best parts of your house — or at least it could be, if it wasn't in an unsightly, uncomfortable, or downright dangerous condition. Deck repair service helps restore outdoor areas in Newtown, and happiness for local property owners.

Which deck issues require repairs? Almost all of them. Problems such as rotting boards and wobbly handrails aren't just unappealing cosmetic issues. They're also unsafe obstacles for your guests and family to dodge around. If left untreated, those problems can cause structural damage to the rest of your home too.

There's a simple way to reclaim your outdoor living space: call on Mr. Handyman of Newtown and Yardley to take care of some simple deck repairs that will give you back your dream deck, so you can relax and enjoy the outdoors worry-free. Our experienced service professionals have seen it all when it comes to Pennsylvania deck repairs. We know how to get your deck looking as good as the day it was installed!

1. Rotten Boards

This is in the number one spot because it's the number one problem that affects wood decks — in fact, most deck repair problems relate back to wood rot. Not sure if your deck has suffered this type of water damage? Grab a flashlight and screwdriver and examine as much of your timber as possible (including the underside), checking for these signs of rot:

  • Discoloration where wood appears darker or lighter, or has a white, yellow, or purplish hue

  • Texture changes where the wood is spongy, stringy, or webbed with cracks

  • Timber is breaking apart in cube-shaped pieces (called cubical fracture) or crumbling into "sawdust"

  • Mushrooms sprouting from wood (in very advanced cases)

If you spot a suspicious patch, press your screwdriver into it. If it sinks right in with little or no resistance, that's wood rot and it needs to be taken care of sooner rather than later.

Why Are My Deck Boards Rotting?

Timber that is exposed to the elements is particularly vulnerable to rot. That's because wood rot is a form of decay caused by wood-eating fungi that thrive in timber with a moisture content of 20% or higher. Since wooden outdoor structures are constantly being soaked with rain and snow melt, they are highly susceptible to rotting. Regular maintenance such as paint or wood stain followed by a layer of sealant will help to make the timber water-repellent and keep wood rot at bay.

Can You Remove Rot with Deck Repairs?

Yes and no. There's no way to restore a piece of rotten wood back to its original condition, so repairing rotten boards generally means replacing them. That doesn't necessarily mean you need to replace your entire deck, though. Our deck repair experts can remove and replace affected timber, then refinish the structure so the repair is invisible and the new wood is protected against water damage. If patches of rot are very minimal or removing the timber would be prohibitively difficult, your handyman may be able to repair it by scraping out rotted parts and filling gaps with epoxy wood filler.

2. Weathered, Gray, Splintered Wood

Do you avoid stepping out onto your deck in bare feet out of fear that you might pick up a big, painful splinter? If wood appears to be weathered and gray, that's a sign that your paint or wood stain has worn away — or was never there to begin with. And, as we just noted above, the next step for timber that is unprotected from moisture is wood rot.

We’ve got deck repair services for just that situation. We’ll get the surface sanded down to remove any splinters along with peeling paint, then refinish and reseal the wood to keep it safe from water damage for another season.

3. Water Pooling Around Footings

When you are looking around for deck repair warning signs, it's critically important to check the underside as well, especially around posts and concrete footings. Landscaping changes, poorly done grading, or just shifting soil over time can create drainage issues that cause water to pool around footings.

Pooling water can wash soil away from a post, leaving it unstable. It can also cause concrete footings to crack and crumble as a result of the freeze-and-thaw cycle in the winter constricting the soil and putting too much pressure on the concrete. All of those issues could create an unsafe situation. Professional inspections and repairs are the best choice for avoiding dangerous complications.

You should always avoid walking on a deck that feels unstable or appears to be sinking. It’s best to avoid attempting DIY repairs for that problem too. Grading and drainage issues need to be corrected by a knowledgeable deck repair professional. Need help finding the right person for the job? Check out our guide on finding the best "handyman near me" in Newtown, PA.

Why is My Deck Sagging?

If your deck is sagging or sinking noticeably, it's likely due to a serious issue with the posts or footings. If it was not installed correctly — or is just very old — the soil may have eroded away underneath the footings, pulling the whole structure downwards as the posts sink into the soil, threatening to collapse the entire thing. It could also be an issue with wood rot in the posts causing them to crumble and buckle (we weren't kidding when we said most problems with your outdoor structures relate back to wood rot). In either situation, timely repairs are essential for fixing that problem before it becomes worse.

4. Loose Railings

Grab your railing and give it a firm shake. It shouldn't move at all, but if it does, that's a strong indication that it is in need of deck repair service. A solid handrail is often the only thing stopping a nasty fall off the edge of the platform. Even if your porch is low to the ground, it can still cause injury if the railing collapses when someone leans against it, expecting it to hold their weight.

It may be that the wood has become damaged at stress points where a section of railing connects to the wall or another section — and, of course, it could be wood rot. If it's the former scenario, then it may be possible for your handyman to solve that problem with basic deck repairs. In that case, repairs would involve simply refastening at a different place on the railing post. If it's a rotten timber issue, then spot repairs likely won’t be effective. The railing itself will need to be replaced.

5. Creaky Stairs

Do your stairs dip down or creak when you step on them? It's not you — it's them. It's easy enough to trip and stumble down stairs that are in perfect working order, so you don't need the added risk of dealing with stairs that are not stable and sturdy. In this case, replacement usually makes the most sense. For wobbly stairs, repairs will only be a temporary solution, and therefore aren't as cost-effective as replacing the steps or staircase.

6. Insect Infestations

If you've ever had to deal with termite or carpenter ant infestations before, you know just how much damage those little wood-eaters are capable of in a short amount of time. If you spot signs of their work on your outdoor timber surfaces, your handyman can replace the wood they've destroyed. The area should then be treated with pesticide to prevent them from coming right back and creating more demands for deck repairs.

Rely on Mr. Handyman for Deck Repair Services in Newtown and Yardley

Whether you're in Newtown, Yardley, or a nearby area such as Washington Crossing, Langhorne, or Richboro, you can count on dependable, quality workmanship and outstanding customer service from the pros at Mr. Handyman of Newtown and Yardley. We'll get your outdoor space in perfect condition, so all you have to do is sit back and soak up the sun!

Give us a call today at 215-607-6465 to request service or find out more about how we can enhance your home and make your life easier.