After a full summer of food, laughter and fun, it is common to see a little wear and tear on your deck. It’s important to take care of any little problems as early as possible so that they don’t turn into bigger (and more expensive) issues. Luckily, many of the most common deck repairs can be taken care of by a handy homeowner.
Problem #1: You spot some water damage
Whether it’s a winter snowstorm or a gentle summer rain, your deck is exposed to water all year long. When your deck is first constructed, the contractor will place a sealant to protect it from any water damage. This sealant needs to be reapplied every few years to ensure that the wood remains resistant to any water that lands on its surface.
In order to see if your deck needs to be resealed, your best course of action is a simple water test. Sprinkle some water on your deck and see what happens. If the water beads, then your sealant is still fine. If the water absorbs into the deck, then it is time to reseal. You can purchase sealant at your local hardware store. Thoroughly clean and dry your deck and then apply the sealant according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Problem #2: You see some rotting boards
Wood rot is a common problem for deck owners. The only way to fix rot is to replace (and reseal) the affected boards. While you are replacing the board, you will also want to check for the cause of the rot. Is there a gutter streaming water onto your deck? An area that is not correctly sealed? A fixture that funnels water? When you fix rot on your deck you also want to get rid of the source of the offending water.
Problem #3: The color on your deck is fading
Over time, many decks will start to turn a faded, gray-ish color. While the fading is not dangerous, it does undermine the aesthetic appeal of your deck. Luckily, there are several ways that you can get rid of the faded look. The first is to do a thorough power washing of your deck, getting rid of any accumulated dirt or grime. Use a wood cleaner to give extra help to fight discoloration.
If cleaning does not solve your color problems, try using a wood brightener. A brightener works to restore your original color. If larger measures need to be taken, consider repainting or restaining your deck in order to get the color your crave. Just be sure that, if you use a brightener, paint or stain, that you reseal your deck at the end to help prevent water damage.
While a homeowner can easily fix these problems, there are several times when a professional is needed. If you are experiencing a wobbly deck, see evidence of termites, or have a broken guard or safety rail, make sure that you call your professional deck repairman. A professional can ensure that you, your family, and your friends stay safe and sound on your deck.