There comes a point in every deck owner’s life when they start to notice some serious wear-and-tear, whether it’s discoloration of the decking material or something a little more serious. Usually what happens is we say we’ll take a look at it, only to walk outside a month later to find that the deck is in a much worse condition than before. It’s easy to get in the mindset that our decks are invincible and even when they show signs of damage, they’ll make it out okay. Although this is sometimes the case, you should never take a chance. If you notice an issue with your deck, you should take the time to address it rather than putting it off. Inevitably, it will save you time and money in the long run.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at deck damage and how you’ll know whether you should be making repairs or replacing the deck entirely.
What to look for
If you want to know the actual condition of your deck, you should never just take a glance and take it for face value. Your inspection will need to be a little bit more involved than that. Start by making a checklist with the following things on it:
Yes, I did say that you can’t just look at the surface of your deck and make any assumptions about its condition. However, this is generally a good place to start when you’re inspecting your deck. The surface includes the deck boards themselves, railings, and handrails. Since the surface of your deck is exposed to the most wear-and-tear, specifically from UV rays, water, and foot traffic, it’s only natural that this will one of the first places to show signs of damage. Even if you’ve followed all the maintenance procedures recommended by your deck builder, all decks will start to wear down eventually.
In Colorado, this is especially relevant. Colorado decks are really put to the test when it comes to weather. In the winter, they often go through below freezing temperatures with snow constantly melting and refreezing on the deck. Throughout the summer and spring, powerful UV rays and hot weather damage wood fibers making your deck more susceptible to water damage. As you inspect your deck’s surface, be sure to check for any signs of UV or water damage.
The deck posts are the supporting structures that hold up your deck and elevate it off the ground. Although the posts aren’t exposed to foot traffic like the surface of your deck, they can still be hit by sunlight and experience some water damage. However, when it comes to inspecting your deck posts, the most important area to check is the base. If your deck doesn’t have an adequate drainage system or no drainage system at all, water will accumulate in the under deck area, making the area unusable and potentially damaging your deck posts. If you need a deck drainage system installed in your Colorado home, be sure to contact Colorado Deck Drain Experts.
Beams and Joists
The beams and joists are the pieces of wood that lie horizontally beneath the deck supporting the deck boards. The beams are the larger boards closer to the base of the deck whereas the joists are the ones attached to the deck boards. The great thing about these components of your deck is that, for the most part, they’re protected from UV and water damage. However, if there is a leak anywhere in your deck, the connecting points between beams and joists and other parts of your deck can trap moisture and rot. This usually happens towards the edge of the deck first where there are more areas for moisture to get trapped, especially near fixtures like screws that allow water to get inside the wood.
The fascia board is a piece of wood that goes around the perimeter of your deck. Although it doesn’t provide any structural support for your deck, it does improve the appearance by hiding beams and joists. The unfortunate part is that sometimes these fascia boards can trap water that could lead to damaging the rest of your deck. When you check your deck and notice rotting, make sure the moisture isn’t coming in from the fascia boards.
Contact Colorado Deck Drain Experts
These are just a few of the things you should look out for when deciding whether your deck needs simple repairs or replacement. In part two of this blog, we’ll talk more about when you should repair or replace your deck and how you’ll know when your deck is seriously damaged.
One thing that many homeowners don’t consider is having adequate water drainage system installed on their elevated deck. Chances are, if you have an elevated deck, you like to enjoy the space below your deck or store things down there. However, without proper drainage this area will be wet and unusable. At Colorado Deck Drain Experts, it’s our priority to install high-quality deck drainage systems on your home to not only allow you to use the under deck area to its fullest, but to protect the actual deck itself at the same time. We are happy to serve the entire Front Range area in Colorado, so don’t hesitate to contact us today if you have any questions about our deck drainage services.