5 Ways to Know It’s Time for a New Deck

5 Ways to Know It’s Time for a New Deck

5 Ways to Know It’s Time for a New Deck

Check Your Deck

Outdoor living is a dream…or at least it should be. Your deck plays a big role in your time spent outside cooking, relaxing, and hanging out with friends and family—so it’s important to keep an eye on exactly what it needs. Identifying what the actual issues are may be difficult for you, but today we’re going to make the process easier. Our team at West Shire Decks is always ready to help give your deck a checkup to see if improvements could be made to extend the life of your deck and improve its overall safety and appearance. Get familiar with this list and when you’re ready to upgrade, give us a call.

5 Ways to Know It’s Time for a New Deck

#1: Visible Damage

If you’ve seen a deck in disrepair before then you know exactly what we’re talking about. A big indicator people notice first is water pooling on the boards after rain or cleaning. Sometimes a deck will show, very visibly, that it’s in need of some help and repair. This typically comes in the form of broken, cracked, or water damaged boards. This is probably the most obvious way to diagnose that your deck needs refreshed.

Take 5 minutes to go outside and observe the boards of your deck.

  • Do they appear gray or worn?
  • Are they peeling away from the support beams?
  • Do they have any waterproofing or sealant left on them?
  • Are there visible cracks in the boards?

If you said yes to even one of these questions, you know it’s time for a new deck. If left in this condition, your deck will degrade faster and faster and can turn from an awesome outdoor space into a space you want to avoid very quickly. Not to mention, decks in this condition are not safe to walk or lounge on.

5 Ways to Know It’s Time for a New Deck

#2: Loose Railing

Have you ever stepped back and thought about the importance of strong and sturdy railing? You know we have. You can basically find a rail next to any set of stairs, but when it comes to your deck—it can mean the difference between falling 20 feet or staying nice and safe on your deck. Diagnosing this issue is usually done by accident. What we mean is—one day you either lean on the railing or walk up the deck stairs to discover that the railing moves, which can be a little scary!

Obviously, loose railing is a very dangerous thing to have on your deck, especially if it’s higher than ground level. This is a huge sign that it’s time to replace your deck (sometimes just tightening up the railing can do). Either way, it’s better safe than sorry with this one. Our experts are happy to come test those railings for you, so you don’t have to play daredevil.

5 Ways to Know It’s Time for a New Deck

#3: Twisted Deck Support Posts

So, take a good look at this picture above. If you’ve seen this before or your deck is currently sporting this look, you need to get on a repair ASAP. This twisted support beam is notorious for causing swaying or unnatural movement of your deck, most noticeably when you walk on it. This twisting can occur for a few reasons:

  • The beam did not settle correctly
  • Water caused support area to sink or change
  • The beam itself absorbed water and expanded
  • The beam was bumped or pushed

We’re sure there are more things that can cause this to happen, but those are the most common. This dangerous situation can cause a complete catastrophic failure or collapse of your deck costing more and potentially causing injury, so we can’t stress enough that this needs to be addressed quickly if you notice it. This also applies to ground level decks. Even though they are not lifted high into the air, they still have support beams (although they are harder to see) that can become twisted and cause the same problems. Don’t let a support beam be the end of your outdoor living space.

5 Ways to Know It’s Time for a New Deck

#4: Deck Joint Beam Missing

A deck, like anything, is only as good as the sum of its parts. Deck joints are essential to the structural integrity of your deck. If you’re keeping up with industry standards, like our team, then you know all these deck joints need a beam for support to increase the safety and durability of the deck. Without them, it’s just a countdown until the deck fails at the joints. This is an easy one to notice. If you look at the joints and there is no beam, your deck needs some love.

These beams can be missing for a couple of reasons, such as: quick install companies that often skip what they can to save time and budget, damage from weather causing the beam to move, shift, or fall, or the deck was built when these beams were not deemed necessary. No matter what, your deck can’t make it long without it and you’d be better off calling us to come install some support beams for you.

5 Ways to Know It’s Time for a New Deck

#5: Deck Framing Separation

You know the frame of your deck. The thing that really holds everything together is so critical to a strong and sturdy deck—but it’s not invincible to damage. The best way to discover this is to have a professional team, like ours, give your deck a close look to inspect all the frame connections and joints. You may notice some of these issues yourself, like on the corners of the frame where you could see boards not lining up exactly or exposed screws along the perimeter of your deck (the frame). 

Once these problems start, they have a bit of a domino effect. A disconnected frame section can cause loose rails, damage boards by causing pressure to new areas of the deck, and even cause a full collapse. Don’t let these dominoes fall on your deck. Let our team check things out and get your deck fixed before it fails.

Here are some additional resources to guide you through the deck process.

Let’s Get Decking

There you have it, 5 ways to know that it’s time for a new deck. Make sure to keep safety of your deck structure in mind as the years go on. You can never truly predict when something will be damaged or fail, but you can do a lot of preventive maintenance. The best way to stay on top of your deck is with some support from our team. Just give us a call and we’ll make sure your deck can stand up for you and anything else mother nature might throw at it.

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