8 Signs You Can't Wait Another Season for Oklahoma City Porch Repair

Whether it's front and center or tucked away in the back, open to the elements or screened-in, a porch is a welcome amenity for most households. It provides a cool, shady place to enjoy some fresh air and socialize with friends and neighbors, or just sit on a swing and watch the world go by. The main difference between a porch and a deck is that a deck is an outdoor platform attached to your house, while a porch has an overarching roof structure and may or may not have screened walls. One key similarity is that just as with fixing decks, porch repairs must be completed promptly and properly before small problems get worse, which is why many people in the Oklahoma City Metro area choose to hire professionals when they need Oklahoma City porch repair services.

If your porch is in rough shape and experiencing problems such as rotting boards and popping nails, that damage isn't just an unattractive cosmetic issue—it's a dangerous hazard that your friends and family have to avoid, and it can really put a damper on warm weather fun. Oklahoma City porch repair services will help restore your outdoor living space to perfect condition so you can get back to enjoying it worry-free.

But do you really need porch repair by a qualified Oklahoma City handyman right now, or can you go another year (or three) before it's a concern? This guide covers the key symptoms that indicate you really can't wait another season for porch repair. The experienced team of service professionals at Mr. Handyman of North Oklahoma City and Edmond have the skill and know-how to get your porch repair taken care of effectively and efficiently, along with dozens of other reliable handyman projects designed to make your property more comfortable, livable and appealing.

1. Weathered, Splintery Timber

If you wouldn't dare step out onto your porch in bare feet out of fear that you'll get a nasty splinter, that's a problem that should be solved with prompt repairs. A surface covered in weathered, gray, splintered boards is unattractive and it has the potential to cause injury. It's also a clear sign that you need Oklahoma City porch repair before the damage gets much worse. Wood that has turned gray and developed splinters is unprotected by paint, stain and sealant, which means it is susceptible to wood rot. For this issue, your local handyman can take care of porch repair by sanding down the boards, then applying new paint or wood stain followed by a layer of sealant that will help it repel water and avoid moisture damage in the future.

2. Rotting Wood

Speaking of wood rot, it's likely the biggest repair issue for any part of your outdoor space in Oklahoma City that is constructed out of timber, and your porch is no exception. That's because wood rot is a form of decay that only occurs in timber that has a moisture content of 20% or higher. Since your outdoor surfaces are constantly exposed to moisture from rain and snow melt, often without any chance to completely dry out between soakings, they are vulnerable to rotting. At the same time, indoor wood that remains completely dry can stay in great condition for hundreds of years.

Wood rot can cause some very serious problems for properties in Oklahoma City. It is capable of spreading to other parts of your house—sometimes even travelling across non-wood surfaces to reach more timber—and causes the wood to soften and crumble, which can create serious structural stability issues that make your porch unsafe to stand on. Not sure if you need Oklahoma City porch repair services to get rid of wood rot? Examine the timber on your property carefully for these signs:

  • Patches of discolored wood that have a white, purple or yellowish hue, or appear lighter or darker than the surrounding material

  • Timber that has a stringy or spongy-looking texture, or is webbed with cracks

  • Wood that is crumbling into "sawdust" or breaking apart in cube-shaped pieces, which is called cubical fracture

  • When you touch a suspicious patch with a tool like a screwdriver, it sinks right in with little or no resistance

Can Rotten Wood Be Repaired?

Yes and no. There's no way to restore rotten timber to its former solid condition, so when it comes to wood rot, Oklahoma City porch repair usually involves removing the affected boards altogether and replacing them with new timber that has been treated to resist moisture. That is followed by paint or wood stain and a generous coating of sealant. But if the patches of rot are very small, or removing the timber would be prohibitively difficult, your handyman may be able to repair the affected areas by scraping out the rotted parts and filling the holes with epoxy wood filler, then painting over it so the repair is invisible. Regular maintenance for your porch and any other wooden surfaces outside will go a long way toward making sure you don’t need an appointment for wood rot repair in the future.

3. Dirty, Slippery Surfaces

Maybe there are no splinters on your porch, but you still avoid ever stepping out there with bare feet because it's just so grimy—covered in layers of dirt build-up that has accumulated over the years, or a layer of slimy, slippery moss and algae. That slick, uneven surface is the perfect recipe for a nasty fall, and it doesn't look so great either. But it can also be a big problem for the material that's hiding underneath all that grime. The build-up of dirt and other substances harbors harmful bacteria that eats away at surfaces, stripping off the coating that is protecting it and leaving it exposed to moisture and wood rot. Don't worry, you don't have to get out the mop and bucket and start scrubbing away. Your Oklahoma City handyman can get the whole thing sparkling clean in no time flat with pressure washing, which is extremely effective at blasting away dirt, algae, stains and other stubborn grime that most cleaning methods can't budge.

4. Peeling Paint or Flaking Wood Stain

When you have peeling paint or wood stain that is flaking off boards, it's a sign of moisture incursion—and as we mentioned, timber with a high moisture content is pretty much guaranteed to succumb to wood rot. When excess water seeps into the wood, it swells up and pushes on the paint from underneath, causing it to peel and lift off in strips or flakes. The next steps in the destruction of your porch are some of the problems we've already described above. If the damage is halted at this stage, Oklahoma City porch repair is going to be a simpler task. In fact, pressure washing isn't just for removing dirt and grime—it's also the best way to remove peeling paint far faster and more effectively than sanding ever could. Once the old paint has been removed and there's a clean, smooth surface left behind, your handyman can finish up by painting and sealing.

What Else Can Pressure Washing Be Used For?

Professional pressure washing is the most efficient and effective cleaning method for a wide range of outdoor surfaces and items in Oklahoma City. It can be used to clean everything from the siding on your house to porch furniture and large sports or play equipment like a swing set. Pressure washing can also clean oil stains off a driveway or clear years—sometimes decades—of grime and moss off a brick-covered patio. You may not even know what color your masonry surfaces are until they've gotten a good pressure washing! Our multi-skilled handyman team can save you time and money by taking care of pressure washing services at the same time we're there for Oklahoma City porch repair.

5. Loose, Wobbly Handrails

If your porch is elevated a significant distance off the ground, it's obviously important to have firm, well-constructed railings that are in good shape to prevent someone from accidentally taking a tumble off the edge. But even if your porch is pretty much flush with the ground, a loose, weakened handrail can still cause a safety hazard if someone leans against it, expecting it to hold their weight when it's not up to the task.

Your handrail might be wobbling because it has come loose at the points where it's connected to the house or another section of railing, in which case your handyman can likely just re-secure it to get it back in safe condition. If the problem is related to rotting wood or severe corrosion on metal, it will likely need to be removed and replaced as part of your Oklahoma City porch repair project—and we can take care of that as well.

6. Holes or Rips in Screen Mesh

If you have a screened-in porch in Oklahoma City, you know how great it can be. It's an indoor-outdoor transitional space that can be used for so many different purposes. More importantly, it gives you the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, from fresh breezes to twittering birds—without having to deal with nature's most irritating insect, the mosquito.

A screened porch typically features full or half walls of mesh panels that keep annoying biting and stinging insects out so you can actually sit outside without immediately being driven back indoors by an ominous buzzing cloud of pests. But when your screen mesh has suffered from rips and holes in the mesh, there's nothing stopping those little bloodsuckers from going on the attack. Your local handyman will take care of that Oklahoma City porch repair problem by removing the damaged mesh and installing a new panel of mesh into the frame that will keep unwanted "visitors" from buzzing around.

What Size Screen Keeps Mosquitoes Out?

Adult mosquitoes range in size from about a tenth of an inch to a quarter of an inch for the really big, nasty ones. The standard mesh size is 18 x 16, which means there are 18 strands per inch in one direction and 16 in the other. That's far too small for even the most thirsty mosquito in Oklahoma City to get through, so it should be perfectly adequate. But if you're concerned about their aggravating little pals, no-see-ums (also called biting midges or gnats), 20 x 20 mesh is a better choice to make sure they can't come calling.

7. Pest Infestations

If you've ever seen termites, carpenter ants or other destructive species of insect pests at work, you know how much damage they're capable of causing in a relatively short span of time. Insect damage may look like a maze of holes or channels on the surface of your porch, or the wood may sound hollow when it's tapped, as if it has been hollowed out from the inside (because it has). In this situation, your Oklahoma City porch repair will require the affected material to be removed entirely and replaced—but you need to make sure the insects have been completely removed first, or they'll just come right back to damage the new timber.

8. Water Pooling Around Footings

When you're looking for potential damage that may need Oklahoma City porch repair, don't forget to check out the more difficult-to-reach areas, especially the footings. The footings are the part of your porch that extend into the ground and hold the entire structure up. They are usually posts encased in concrete that is buried deep in the ground. If you notice water pooling around the footings, that's a bad sign, and it could lead to serious issues that require concrete repair in addition to routine Oklahoma City porch repair. It could be caused by landscaping changes or improper installation, or just the soil shifting over time. We'll make sure to get it corrected so the water can drain safely away without causing damage to your structure.

Time For Oklahoma City Porch Repair? Trust Your Local Handyman to Get the Job Done Right!

When you have someone completing repairs on your home in Oklahoma City, you need to know that they have the skill and experience to get the job done correctly the first time. But you also want to know that they'll treat your property with respect and behave with professional courtesy at all times. That's what you can expect from the team of home repair, maintenance and improvement experts at Mr. Handyman of North Oklahoma City and Edmond.

Pick up the phone and get in contact with us today to chat with our friendly customer care staff and make a service request for a convenient time, or to find out more about Oklahoma City porch repair and our other reliable handyman services.