It’s that time of year again in Michigan! It is time to dust off the patio furniture, bring the grill out of storage, and enjoy the outdoors.
We wait for such a long time for this season here in Michigan. We want to make sure our outdoor spaces are safe to use for the whole summer.
Have you been using an old wood deck? Are you seeing signs of aging, but want to know which ones are safe to live with and which ones mean your deck needs to be replaced?
Dangerous Signs Your Wood Deck Needs Replacing Rather Than Repair
Concrete Post Anchors Are Showing
Unless your deck sits directly on the ground – and most of them don’t – it is anchored into the ground using strong posts that are set into concrete.
Sometimes, the posts are sunk deep into the ground, and this can pose problems over time.
Water is the culprit. Water freezes and thaws and pours down from the sky to erode the dirt around your deck’s posts.
If too much of the post is showing or if the concrete anchor is showing, your deck may become unstable.
Those anchors may need to be replaced before the post snaps, or the deck starts to wobble.
Problems with posts are some of the most dangerous, especially when the deck is off the ground.
Structural damage to this area and posts that are rotting or wearing away makes a deck unsafe to use. They can snap at any time, which is a hazard to anyone on or near the deck.
There is a difference between one section of decking needing to be replaced and the whole thing starting to crumble.
If your deck is soft and rotting, or if it’s cracked and splintering, it’s not safe and needs to be torn down.
One or two railings that aren’t firmly attached may not mean much.
However, if the whole thing is moving back and forth, it may mean that the place where the rails are attached is going soft or warped.
If that’s the case, the whole deck may need replacing.
If you notice a gap between your deck and your house, it’s time to get a new deck. It’s not safe anymore!
Not only can you trip, but it means that likely the ledger boards attaching the structure to the house are damaged. When that happens, the weight of the deck will make it lean away.
Gaps will let in water as well, which can damage parts of the structure it isn’t supposed to reach.
Mold can grow wherever there is moisture and organic matter. You can keep mold at bay by regularly cleaning your wood deck.
However, it’s one of the main ways a deck can become too damaged to save.
Stains are an indication that a deck needs to be replaced if you don’t know its age.
Let’s say you just moved into a house with an old wood deck. Widespread staining, fading, and peeling varnish can be a good indicator that the whole thing needs to be taken down.
Bringing it Home
If you don’t know the age of your wood deck, particularly if it’s a second story deck, check for these signs to your deck needs replacing.
If you live in Southeast Michigan, please give us a call. We would be honored to help with your new deck.