If you’ve had a deck on your property for any length of time, it probably shows signs of wear and tear. While decks can withstand the elements, they still require attention and repairs. You can ensure your deck remains safe and structurally sound for years to come by regularly inspecting it and conducting necessary repairs. Discover four common signs that indicate your deck may need some attention.

1. Wood Rot and Mold Growth

Damage from the elements can take a toll on decks, which can weaken the structural integrity and pose a risk to those who use it. Elemental damage can lead to wood rot and mold growth on the deck.

Wood rot is a dangerous condition that can cause structural damage to your deck. Wood rot results from fungi that break down wood, which occurs when the wood is exposed to moisture from the ground or rainwater.

Additionally, mold can appear on decks due to high moisture content. If mushroom-like molds or fungal growths are present, they can indicate more serious damage. The wood is especially prone to rot if your deck uses wood support posts that rest on the ground rather than on concrete footings. Signs of wood rot on decks include softened wood and planks/boards that crumble easily.

2. Damaged Components and Fittings

The sun, rain, wind, temperature, and humidity can all cause wear and tear on a deck. Rust on the fixtures and fittings that hold the deck together can also weaken its stability over time. Damaged boards and wood deterioration from pests can damage the wooden elements of the deck. Even if you protect the wood with stain and weatherproofing, cracks and splinters in the boards can still occur.

However, other materials like concrete can also be affected by the elements. Concrete can crack from temperature changes. Thus, the concrete footings can become unstable if not properly prepared. This damage can weaken the entire structure of the deck, which can make it unsafe for use. If the deck shows signs of cracking and deterioration, you may need to conduct extensive repairs.

3. Erosion

Signs of erosion around deck posts and footings can include water pools in your yard or changes in the slope of your lawn. These signs highlight that the ground has shifted and eroded, which can lead to instability in the deck’s structural integrity. Erosion results from rainwater and snowmelt that wash away the soil supporting posts and footings.

This erosion can cause the lower level of the post to get exposed, which can make the deck more likely to collapse. To prevent damage from erosion, you must regularly check deck footings, especially if you live in an older home. Additionally, monitor any small landscaping changes, such as the addition or removal of planting beds, for potential drainage issues.

4. Loose Railings

Signs of deteriorated railings on decks include loose or wobbly posts and the presence of loose carriage bolts or screws. Loose railing can occur due to the expansion and contraction of the wooden posts due to weather exposure.

If left unattended, the railing can pose a serious safety hazard as railings along steps and stairs need to support someone if they slip. You need to hire a deck contractor as soon as you notice the damage. However, a complete replacement will be necessary if the deterioration has weakened the deck.

Contact us at 13TEN Renovations for all of your deck renovation needs. Our experience with custom exterior renovations can ensure your deck receives the treatment it needs to remain stable and safe for you and your family to continue to use.