Your deck is the primary hardscaping installation in your landscape and provides a place for you to entertain guests, cook, and perform other activities outside in order to expand your living space. However, decking is not invulnerable to damage, and constant weather exposure, coupled with varying weather conditions as the seasons change, can begin to take a toll on your deck. Wooden decking that has reached the end of its lifespan will exhibit a number of symptoms. Being aware of what these warning signs are can help you determine when you should start thinking about replacing your deck.
One of the first signs associated with a wooden deck that is no longer in the best condition is any sort of color or shading change. While this may seem like nothing more than a superficial change, a fading wooden deck points to excessive age and weather exposure breaking down the stain that has sealed your deck from the elements. When this happens, your wooden decking becomes much more susceptible to moisture and physical damage. While you may be able to stain your deck again to protect it in the short term, depending on the general age and condition of your deck, replacement may save you money on maintenance and repair in the long run.
Shaking or Wobbling
An additional sign of a deck that has begun to deteriorate and should be replaced or repaired is any sort of shaking or bouncing when walking over it. This can point to damaged supports or fasteners or decking boards that have themselves begun to break down with age and constant weather exposure. You should also pay attention to the railings of your deck: if they have begun to shake, they may no longer be able to support your weight, which can increase the risk of falling and injuring yourself while walking on your deck.
Signs of Pest Problems or Rotting
Wood is unique among outdoor building materials in that it can become damaged if exposed to heavy amounts of moisture and humidity. Wood can become infested with pests such as termites and carpenter ants and can also begin to rot, which can undermine the structural strength of your deck. You will be able to see boards and posts that are affected by pest or rot damage because they will begin to sag or list to the side, with more damage causing more changes to the shape of your decking materials.
If you notice any of these signs, contact a deck contractor from a company like Affordable Services Inc.