Brand new decks are beautiful and add to the value of a home, but they do require annual upkeep and maintenance in order to maintain their appearance and value. Most manufacturers state that decks that are regularly maintained will last twice as long.
Easy Deck Repairs
More expensive deck woods, such as cedar or redwood, naturally last longer but still are susceptible to damage. Deck repair and catching problems early, when damage occurs, will be a lot less expensive than replacing a deck. Mildew, rotted wood, warped railings, rotted steps, cracked flooring boards, gaps where the wood joins in corners, and popped nails (nails with the heads above the surface of the wood) are common problems that can be easily taken care of through deck repair.
Dry Rot and Your Deck
Dry rot is the most common problem with decks. Homeowners should ensure proper ventilation to prevent rot. Making sure dirt and leaves don't build up between the boards and that there is no standing water or moisture build-up on the boards is good maintenance and will eliminate much of the chance for rot that requires deck repair.
Helpful Places to Shop for Decks
Popped nails can be pounded down into the boards, and cracked wood or warped railings and stairs can be replaced with new wood. Local home improvement stores, such as Lowe's or The Home Depot, often carry pre-assembled deck stairs and railings. The deck's supporting posts and support connecting the deck to the house should also be inspected for deterioration. It is important in deck repair to replace damaged wood with the same type of wood that was originally there. The new wood should then be ’painted’ with a finish or sealant that will protect the wood.
Mildew Remover and Sealants
A common necessity in deck repair is mildew removal. If allowed to remain on the wood, mildew can lead to extensive damage. It can be removed with deck cleaner products available at home improvement and hardware stores. Some require no scrubbing; all require thorough rinsing and drying, followed by refinishing the wood. After mildew removal or wood replacement, wood finishes that are water and mildew repellant are excellent choices. A clear sealant will usually last for a year; semi-transparent stains and toners/wood tints usually last for two or three years. But refinishing the deck's wood on an annual basis is a good maintenance practice that cuts down on the eventual expense of deck repair for rotted wood.