If your existing deck is defective, one option is to have the damage to your deck repaired. However, if you aren't happy with your existing deck, you might want to have it completely replaced through a new deck installation. Before you decide whether to replace your deck, you should look for common signs of defects and decide whether it would be easier to correct these problems or replace the entire deck.
Check the Nails
Make sure your deck does not have any missing nail holes. If you have any missing nail holes, hangers can pull loose. The hangers are pieces of hardware that anchor the deck. they are usually made out of steel and connect the deck support beams to the framing structure.
Determine If the Deck Needs to Be Reinforced
Check to make sure your deck does not need to be reinforced. If your deck has rail posts that are reinforced with nails, this will not be strong enough to hold the rail posts in place. Instead, you will need to install carriage bolts. You can install the carriage bolts by simply screwing them into the rail post.
Make sure your deck boards are not moving. If they are, you will need to add reinforcement by adding braces underneath the deck boards. The braces can be attached by driving nails through the braces into the joists.
Inspect the Lag Screws and Ledger Flashing
Also, make sure that the deck has its lag screws and ledger flashing. The lag screws are needed to attach the ledger to the already existing structure. Also, make sure each lag screw has a washer because a missing washer can cause the deck to collapse.
Look for Rot and Termite Damage
While these problems can be resolved, there are two problems that are likely to bring an end to the deck's life cycle prematurely: rot and termites. When these factors have brought your deck toward the end of your deck's lifespan, one of the most common signs is that you will notice that your deck begins to sag. The railing posts might be loose. The outer edge of the deck frame will have very visible rot. The surface might feel like a sponge when walking on it. There might also be parts of the deck that give when you walk on it.
The best way to learn about the state of your deck is to have a deck installation specialist like Reeves Exterior Services come and assess the state of your deck. The specialist can help you decide whether you'd be better off trying to repair or replace your deck.