Is the old wooden deck at your home in bad condition? You have two options: repair it or replace it. Not every degree of deterioration requires you to completely replace the deck, but there are certainly some situations in which it makes sense to do so.
Here’s a quick overview of how to decide whether it’s a sensible move to replace a deck in Seattle.
You’re dealing with rotted-out posts
Most decks built these days use concrete footings instead of wood footings, and have special brackets designed to keep the base of the post dry. However, if you have an older deck, the wooden posts might be directly on the footings, which can result in them soaking up moisture and developing rot over time. The problem can become especially severe if the wood used for your deck was not pressure treated. Obviously, rot in wood can result in some significant structural weakness, so if you have a lot of rotting posts, then it’s a good idea to replace the deck.
You’ve got weak post connections
Sometimes it’s the post connections and not the posts themselves that are the issue. For proper support, the posts should always rest under the rim joist or beam. If you have posts fastened to the side of the beam or the rim joist, that only serves to put the pressure on the fasteners connecting the post to the deck, which can result in sagging or breakage. Make sure the posts are connected properly, using galvanized carriage bolts. If the posts are only fastened with nails, the deck could collapse over time.
The railings are loose
Loose railings might not be a structural weakness of the deck, but they can still be a safety hazard, especially if you have people at your home who have some mobility handicaps, or if you have young children. While you might not need to replace the entire deck if the railings come loose, loose railings can be a sign of poor hardware or wood degradation, so replacing them can be helpful.
There is significant structural damage
If you have just one or two boards that have rotted out or otherwise become damaged, then you can easily replace those boards and leave the rest of the deck intact. However, if there is structural damage across a significant portion of the deck, it makes more sense to rip it up and start over than to try a patchwork solution. This just means your deck has reached the end of its useful life. Warning signs can include visible rot on the edges of the deck frame, or a spongy feel while you’re walking across the surface of the deck.
These are just a few examples of some of the signs that indicate it may be time for you to replace a deck. For more information about when to replace a deck in Seattle, we encourage you to contact Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co. We look forward to helping you find the lumber you need to complete your project.