Your deck is one of the favorite places in your home for outdoor entertainment, a barbecue party with family and friends, or just a comfortable space to relax and enjoy the weather. The wooden materials used in your deck are durable and of high quality but aren’t designed to last a lifetime. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), a wooden deck can last for as long as 20 years. But with the constant changes of weather, not to mention the freezing cold winter season and scorching summer heat, the time will come when it’ll eventually show signs of damage.
If your deck weakens and becomes cracked or splintered, you can get it fixed by replacing the affected board or boards.
How can you spot rot on your deck?
Moisture is the number enemy of any infrastructure that is made of wood, including your deck. If your deck isn’t properly stained, moisture can seep through the fibers of your wood decking, creating a perfect habitat for microorganisms and fungi. These microorganisms eat the cellulose fiber of the wood, making it brittle and highly porous. It will only be a matter of time until the rotten area falls apart.
Another reason for deck boards rotting is an infestation of insects and animals. These wood-eating critters and insects can bite, chew or dig on your deck boards, damaging them in the long run. In this case, contact a professional termites exterminator immediately to prevent further damage.
Inspect your deck boards for any signs of rot. Some deck boards may appear fine on the outside so pay attention to mold growth or any discoloration on the wood. You can test the discolored area using a screwdriver; rotten wood is typically soft and may flake off easily.
I found rotten deck boards. Now what?
It may be hard to repair the rotten deck board once the rotting has begun. It is important to catch the signs of rot on your deck boards early, or else you might just need to replace the whole deck which can be very costly. The key here is to prevent the rot from spreading and reoccurring, so follow the steps below:
- Contact a professional deck repair company to remove the damaged boards and replace them with a new one. Make sure that the replacements are pressure-treated woods as they can resist the elements that cause rot.
- They can also professionally stain the entire decking including its support pieces.
- Look for areas susceptible for water-pooling and level out the spots.
- Inspect the surrounding area for possible sources of water damage on your deck such as plumbing, roofing system, sprinkler system, and others. Make sure that they are maintained properly and no leakage.
If you noticed that the rot has affected a large area of your deck, then it is best to contact a deck repair specialist to professionally deal with your decking problems.