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Decks / July 11, 2019
Don’t give up on your outdoor deck just yet, even if it looks like a gust of wind could knock it down. In this blog, Handyman Connection® of Mason shares a guide on how to know if your outdoor deck is salvageable.
A sound framework indicates a salvageable outdoor deck. Think of it as the skeleton; as long as there’s good bone structure, you can rebuild and replace components. Begin your inspection with the footings, which are typically made of concrete. Footings should be set into the ground deep enough so the deck doesn’t look “heaved” or tilted. It is difficult to pull out and replace if it’s already heaved, but it is possible to have new footings installed at different spots.
Next, inspect the wood framing, beginning with the posts. If properly treated, the wood should still be relatively straight, not heavily warped. If you find spots where it feels mushy, and you can pry out soft parts with little effort, then rot has already set in. If the rot hasn’t spread out yet, affected parts can be removed, cleaned and filled in with polymer resin before waterproofing is applied. Inspect the rest of the wood framing for similar damage. Tighten the loose fasteners that you find.
Repair Vs. Replacement
This is where you weigh the costs of deck repair against a full replacement. Generally, repairs cost less than a full replacement, especially if you still have a sound framework. You have to assess if parts are worth saving. For example, replacing a support post in advanced stages of rot makes more sense than trying to save it with polymer repair.
Another factor you should consider is the availability of materials. Matching the look of the original outdoor deck can be difficult to accomplish, especially if the original had a distinct wood grain. Bring a sample (or pictures of your existing deck) if you’re visiting suppliers. An experienced deck installer can also help you source the right materials. You should also consider alternatives such as composite, which has features such as moisture resistance and low maintenance requirements.
Handyman Connection of Mason is your leading provider of deck installation and other handyman services. Give us a call at (513) 733-3777 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.