Home Improvement Blog

An Aging Deck

An aging deck

An aging deck is inevitable.  If you have an older home, you likely have already noticed signs of wear and tear. One of the most visible signs of a home aging is evidenced by the deck.  So, proper care is imperative to keep your deck from becoming an eyesore. Deck maintenance and repairs are a necessary part of keeping your home looking nice, but you also need your deck safe and usable for your family.

Your aging deck

Top Problems People Have with Decks

The top three, most common problems that people have with their decks are:

  1. water damage,
  2. fading color, and
  3. wood rot.

These issues can sound like they are mostly cosmetic, but they can be tell-tail signs that are serious enough to lead to concerns that can cause a safety hazard.  Therefore, homeowners need to address these issues to keep their homes looking wonderful and fully functional. Maintaining your deck in these three area can help you to extend the life of your deck and they will help you to keep from having to perform more costly repairs down the road.

Water Damage

When deck boards are not rotted, simply reseal or refinish your deck. Sealant, paint, and other types of finishes must be reapplied regularly and in some cases annually. However, you need to make sure you do not apply new finishes when there is water damage.

Many homeowners find themselves in this position. Start by sanding over unsightly areas and replacing any problem boards to get rid of damaged wood.  If replacing boards on your deck is required, be sure to seal the ends with finish prior to installing the boards.  This will definitely add to the lifespan of your revitalized deck.

If you aren’t there yet, or to avoid more damage in the future, it can help to learn the signs that new sealant is needed. When your deck is dry try sprinkling water onto the boards. If the water doesn’t bead, it is time to reseal your deck. The resealing process is needed every few and skipping over it can lead to serious problems. Be sure to check with the manufacturer of the product you originally used for finishing for recommended intervals and maintenance requirements.

Color Fading

Does the wood on your deck look faded and drab? The color of wood changes over time as sealant and stain wears away and as the wood ages. While not a structural problem, fading color can affect how much you enjoy your deck. When this is the case, many homeowners took to DIY by buying a wood cleaner or a wood brightener to restore some of the color and remove the grime. Note that after treating your aging deck for color, be sure to reseal the wood.

We know a deck’s finish is wearing off when the color begins to fade.  This is one of the first signs that a refinish is in order.  Keep in mind that you do not want to wait until the color is completely faded.  If you do, the finish will no longer be protecting the wood from the great outdoors.  Then, more subsequent repairs will result.

Wood Rot

Wood rot or dry rot is more than just a visual issue, it is a safety concern. Rotting deck boards are a sign that too much time has pasted between routine maintenance.  At this point, substantial repair work may be required.

If your deck is rotting you need to repair the damage and get the deck inspected by an industry professional.  Also inspect the deck ledger (framing member with attached the deck to the house).  The ledger must have waterproofing behind it and metal flashing on top of it.  If it does not, there is potential for wood rot to develop within the exterior wall of your home.

If your deck is under a roof overhead, check the roof drainage to ensure your gutter system is working properly.  Make sure it does not pool water leaving it to sit in particular spots and cause rot.

After replacing boards as needed, be sure to reseal your deck at the end of this process.

The aging deck

Your Project

If this feels overwhelming, you are not alone. Many homeowners do not want to take on maintenance and repairs required for their aging deck by themselves. If this is true in your case, call in the help of a professional. It is the quickest and easiest way to get the job done right. If you are looking for professional handyman services for expert deck repair contact HTP Builders for all  the help you need.

About the author

Ken Reusser

Ken Reusser

After taking the reins as part owner and project supervisor for HTP Builders in 2011, Ken began to use his extensive industry knowledge to meet the needs of each individual he works with. He is a certified journeyman carpenter with over 19 years of experience and holds a number of crucial industry certifications.

Ken Reusser’s philosophy is simple: Your project is as much about partnership as it is craftsmanship.