Like many other homeowners with old decks, you may have recently opened your deck up for the season and noticed some rot and/or damage. Did you ask yourself “Is it time to replace my old deck?”
If you considered replacing your old deck, here are some “red flags” to help you determine if it is beyond a simple repair and needs to be replaced:
1. Do you see visible rot in the substructure (aka: framing) of the deck, especially around the bottom of the support posts? If so, the deck most likely will need to be replaced entirely. Prior to the newer codes, deck posts were cemented directly into the ground causing increased susceptibility to rot due to direct contact with the ground water. If it is a newer deck but not properly permitted by the township, it may also have this problem. Newer codes require attaching the post to a concrete footer without direct ground contact decrease rot. There are other parts of the framing that could also signs of rot including the beam and joists. With age these areas tend to lose life and become more susceptible to rot and termite infestation. When this happens it most likely is time to replace the deck. The ledger board is another area to closely examine; this is the board that attaches the deck to the house. Failure of the ledger board is the #1 reason decks collapse. This can happen if the ledger was never properly attached or rotted out over time. It is important to fully inspect your deck each year for signs of rot and damage.
2. Are the decking boards splintering, do they feel spongy, or are they showing signs of rot? If so, it most likely is beyond repair and ready to be replaced. If the substructure is still in good condition and has a lot of life left, then you may be able to just re-face the deck by replacing the decking boards and railing. The splintering of an old wood deck can become a safety concern if it is not repaired or replaced. Old wood decks typically last up to 15-20 years if properly maintained over the years, however much less time if the deck was never cared for with the proper deck sealer. Some old composite decks may also need to be replaced more so due to the appearance rather than the quality. The older generation of composite deck boards was more susceptible to mold/mildew then the newer products on the market today.
3. Is the railing loose or showing signs of rot? If so, it is important to replace the railing on the deck. Loose and/or rotten railing parts can be a safety concern if someone were to lean against it and cause it to detach. It is important fully inspect all parts of the railing and the hardware to ensure there isn’t concerning damage or rot
It is important to have your deck inspected properly by a licensed contractor familiar with deck building and the newer deck building codes.
Distinctive Designers & Builders has been constructing decks for over 30 years. We are extremely knowledgeable in the deck building codes and deck safety. We would gladly inspect your deck and provide you with the options to repair or replace your existing old deck.

Call us for a free Deck Consultation at #610-534-9054

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