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Decks  /  June 17, 2021

What To Do When Your Deck Is Rotting

What To Do When Your Deck Is Rotting

Summer is the best time to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather on your deck. However, you may find that it’s beginning to show signs of dry rot, which include discoloured, spongy and flaking wood. Although you can try to tackle this issue on your own, contacting deck services in Calgary can help you eliminate dry rot, leaving your deck looking as good as new. Here’s what to do if your deck is rotting.

How Dry Rot Forms

No matter how often you clean your deck, you’ll likely encounter dry rot somewhere down the road. This is because your deck is consistently exposed to moist air, which serves as a breeding ground for fungus, mould and mildew. If you live in a particularly humid area, you may find that your deck experiences dry rotting even quicker than usual. Once it has entered the initial stages of rot, it won’t be long before bacteria begin to jeopardize your deck’s structure and safety.

How to Recognize Dry Rot

Although the most obvious signs of dry rot include spongy and discoloured wood, there are more subtle hints that you should also be aware of. For example, if you notice that a particular area of your deck is infested with pests, this could be indicative of dry rot. This is because termites and other wood-eating pests are attracted to rotting wood. Long sheets of mould or dark wood are also common signs of dry rot, in addition to softer spots on your deck that are exposed to moisture.

Looking for sources of rot, including gutter failure, sprinkler issues or plumbing leaks, can help you pinpoint the cause of your issue. However, if you’re not sure whether your deck is rotting, it’s best to contact repair services to conduct a thorough examination and address any concerns.

Why Dry Rotting Occurs

No matter how much time and effort you put into keeping your deck clean, dry rot may be inevitable. A few reasons why wood decks rot include:

  • Termites: Perhaps one of the most common causes of dry rot, termites infiltrate your deck and feast on the wood, causing extensive damage. 
  • Weather: Cold temperatures cause wood to expand, while warm temperatures cause it to return to its original size. This freeze-thaw cycle can compromise the integrity of your deck’s structure and lead to cracks. If melted snow enters these cracks, moisture can get trapped and lead to dry rot. This is especially the case if you live in an area with fluctuating temperatures.
  • Standing water: If your deck is slanted or contains any dips or craters, water can pool and cause dry rot.
  • Debris: Debris, including leaves, twigs or dirt, can become trapped between your deck’s boards and rot over time, causing bacteria and fungus to eat the wood.
  • Untreated wood: Although extreme weather can have detrimental effects on all types of wood, untreated wood is the most susceptible. From extreme sunlight to rainy spring days, weather can cause your deck’s wood to erode.

How to Prevent Dry Rot

Locating the source of the dry rot can be helpful in preventing its return. You can also clean your deck on a regular basis to deter dirt and mildew from accumulating. Consider applying a sealant or stain to preserve your deck’s wood and prevent moisture from infiltrating.
While addressing dry rot can be a DIY project, the quickest and easiest solution is to contact an experienced professional to thoroughly inspect your deck. Whether you’re interested in deck installation in Calgary or repairing an existing deck, you can be confident that leaving it in the hands of an expert can restore its original beauty and functionality. Call Handyman Connection today to learn more about our deck repair services.

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