Is it Time to Repair or Replace your Deck?
While the average life of a deck spans about 25 years, depending on materials, weather, and other environmental factors, your deck may need replacement sooner. On the other hand, with proper maintenance, a deck can last longer than 25 years.
So how do you know whether you can make a few repairs or whether you need to invest in a full replacement?
Check It Out
Begin by assessing the condition of your deck. This handout from the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) gives a 10-point inspection checklist.
Depending on your level of comfort with maintenance, you can either fix issues yourself or for more significant problems call a contractor to help. For older decks, NADRA recommends you hire an ASHI-certified home inspector or a knowledgeable deck builder to inspect your deck for safety.
The prime reason most people need to replace their deck is rotted wood. Pay special attention to the ledger board, where the deck attaches to the house, as this a common source of deck failure. Equally important are the supporting beams, joists, and posts under the deck.
If your deck is no longer structurally sound or if the expense of repairs begins to approach the cost of a new deck, you’ll want to replace it.
However, even if your deck is safe, there may be other reasons to consider a full replacement:
- The aesthetics of your deck may reach a point where you want a wholesale change. With a new deck, you can decide everything from color to railings to lighting to new configurations.
- You become weary of staining and maintaining the wood and decide to switch to composite decking. With Trex, you can design a new deck and pick your favorite boards online and find a Trex Pro to handle construction. Not only will you have a virtually maintenance-free deck, but you’ll also have a lot of flexibility in designing the deck.
- Building a new deck allows you to extend the life of the deck by adding Trex Protect to the substructure. Typically, a substructure starts to rot and decay about 8-10 years. By installing Trex Protect flashing tape to the joists and beams, you prevent moisture penetration and help deck screws hold longer and stronger. Adding Trex Protect ensures that your deck substructure lasts as long as the deck it supports.
Whether it’s time to repair or replace, don’t put off making sure your deck is safe!