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

A hammer and pry bar lying on a weathered deck before being used to complete deck repairs.
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. When that's the case, you need Newtown deck repair service to restore your outdoor living space to safe, comfortable shape.

Which issues require Newtown deck repair? 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 deck repair 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 your local Newtown handyman 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. The team of experienced service professionals at Mr. Handyman of Newtown and Yardley have seen it all when it comes to Newtown deck repair. 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 repair because it's the number-one problem that affects timber outdoors—in fact, most Newtown deck repair problems relate back to wood rot. Not sure if your structure 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 rot and it needs to be repaired sooner rather than later.

Why Are My Deck Boards Rotting?

Any timber in Newtown 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 adding paint or wood stain followed by a layer of sealant will help to make the timber water-repellent and reduce your repair needs by keeping rot at bay.

Can You Remove Rot with Newtown Deck Repair?

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 Newtown 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 Wood and Peeling Paint

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 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 rot. We’ve got Newtown deck repair services for just that situation. We’ll refinish and reseal patches of worn wood to keep it safe from water damage for another season.

You may be wondering what happened to the paint or stain that was supposed to be protecting your wood deck and preventing the timber from weathering. As it deteriorates over time and gets slowly worn away, moisture starts to seep into the timber. That causes the wood to swell up and push on the paint from underneath until it lifts and peels off in strips or comes away in flakes, leaving the timber vulnerable to weathering and rot. Pressure washing is a fast, effective way to remove peeling paint or deck stain, leaving behind a smooth, clean surface. We'll then apply a fresh coat of paint or stain and follow it with sealant to give it back it's moisture resistance.

What Else Can Benefit From Pressure Washing Services?

If you've never seen pressure washing or power washing in action before, you can't fully appreciate how efficient and effective it is at removing all kinds of stubborn stains and substances from outdoor surfaces and items. Professional pressure washing services can remove oil stains from concrete, get your vinyl siding looking like new again and remove decades of grime and moss from a brick-covered patio. It can be used on almost any hard surface or item outside that won't be damaged by getting wet. Pressure washers are capable of producing pressures that range between 750 and 3,000 psi, or pound-force per square inch. In comparison, a typical faucet clocks in at around 50 or 60 psi.

3. Water Pooling Around Footings

When you are looking around for Newtown 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 any surfaces that feel unstable or appear to be sinking. It’s best to avoid attempting DIY deck repairs for that problem too. Grading and drainage issues need to be corrected by a knowledgeable Newtown deck repair professional.

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 rot in the posts causing them to crumble and buckle (we weren't kidding when we said many problems with outdoor structures in Newtown 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 Newtown 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 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, Newtown deck repair will only be a temporary solution and therefore isn't as cost-effective as replacing the steps or staircase.

6. Insect Infestations and Wildlife Attacks

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 repair or replace the surfaces they've destroyed. The area should then be treated with pesticide to prevent them from coming right back and creating more demands for Newtown deck repair.

Wildlife other than insects can also be an issue, especially for wooden structures. You may be picturing a deer charging around your yard, but as some homeowners are painfully aware, woodpeckers can be the real problem. You may also have animals like skunks trying to make their home underneath by gnawing an entrance point. While providing Newtown deck repairs to fix any damage caused by animals, we can block access to the area underneath your structure to avoid future unwelcome visitors.

What Maintenance Can I Do to Help Keep My Deck in Great Condition?

If you're looking for ways to prevent damage to your outdoor structure so you don't need Newtown deck repair as often, the best way to accomplish that is by keeping excess moisture away from it as much as possible. Here are a few maintenance tips:

  • Rearrange patio furniture and items like planters every now and then to avoid trapping moisture or causing uneven wear
  • Trim bushes and trees back so their branches and moisture-laden leaves are at least a few feet away
  • Avoid rugs or mats on your deck as they attract water and encourage wood rot—but if you can't go without them, choose plastic instead of moisture-retaining natural fibers.
  • Examine your deck in the spring and fall for any signs of trouble such as rotting patches, peeling paint or the other symptoms listed above

Rely on the Experts at Mr. Handyman for Newtown Deck Repair Services

Property owners in Newtown, PA, 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! We also offer popular services such as wood rot repair, siding repair and even mailbox installation in Newtown and nearby towns in the surrounding area, such as Richboro, Washington Crossing and Langhorne.

Our repair and improvement services aren't just for residential properties. Business owners in Newtown and other locations can depend on us for commercial handyman services such as door repair, drywall repair, accessibility modifications such as wheelchair ramp installation and much more. We offer fast service and get the job done right the first time so you can avoid business disruptions caused by a malfunctioning commercial building.

Give us a call today to make a service request or find out more about how we can enhance your residential or commercial and make your life easier.