Your deck is a haven during the warmer months of the year. Decks are perfect for grilling out, relaxing in the sun, hosting tailgate parties for Ohio State, and more. Because of the great enjoyment derived from your deck, you want to make sure it’s always in top shape. There may come a point, however, where you might question whether you should replace your deck or simply repair it. In this post, we’ll discuss the average lifespan of a deck, when you should repair it, and when you should replace it.

What’s the Average Lifespan of a Deck in Columbus?

If maintained properly in the right conditions, your deck can provide many years of enjoyment. Starting with a high-quality deck material like cedar or composite decking already ensures your deck will stay in good shape for quite a while. Natural wood decks can last up to 15-20 years, while composite decking can last for 25 years or more. Regular maintenance and repairs will also extend the lifespan of your deck.

When to Repair Your Deck

Repairing your deck regularly ensures it will last for many years to come. But how do you know when your deck needs repairs? At the end of each summer or at the start of fall, when it starts to get a bit cooler in Columbus, clean your deck and check thoroughly for any of the following common repairs.

You Notice Popped Nails or Loose Screws

Look for any popped nails, loose screws, or other fasteners that might be out of place. These can all negatively impact the structural integrity of your deck and cause personal injury. Pry up the loose fasteners and use new screws or nails in their place.

There are Cracks, Splits, or Scratches in the Wood

Cracked or split wood is unsightly, can cause injury, and compromise the structural integrity of your deck. If you have one or two boards that are cracked or split, you can pry them up and replace them with new boards. If any are scratched, you can sand them by hand and stain them again. However, if several boards are cracked and split, it might be time to replace your deck entirely.

There are Loose Railings or Floorboards

Loose railings and floorboards make your deck feel unstable. Fortunately, these are easily fixed by replacing the fasteners or the boards. However, if you notice your entire deck structure is loose, replacing the deck would be wise.

The Hardware is Rusted

Rust makes metal weak and brittle. Keep an eye out for any rusty hardware and replace it as soon as possible to maintain structural integrity and extend the lifespan of your deck.

The Wood has Noticeable Fading or Staining

Faded wood or wood stained from the elements can be repaired easily. Clean your deck thoroughly before undertaking any staining and sealing. Replace any boards that are too damaged and stain them to match the rest of the deck.

When to Replace Your Deck

Replacing your deck is quite the undertaking, but it is necessary if damage or wear-and-tear to your deck is extensive. Check for the following problems at the beginning of autumn to decide if it’s time to replace your deck.

The Deck Wood is Rotted or Splintering

Widespread wear-and-tear is a strong sign you need to replace your deck. If the majority of the floorboards are cracked, splintering, and bowing and you notice wood rot throughout the deck, simple repairs may not be enough. Prying up and replacing a few floorboards is one thing, but entirely another if every floorboard needs repairing. Still, if the deck foundation is good, it might be a simpler solution than replacing the entire deck.

Your Ledger Board is Damaged

The ledger board is what connects your deck to your house. If you notice loose fittings or rot especially, consult a professional to determine the best course of action. A deck replacement is the likely solution.

The Foundation is No Longer Structurally Sound

If the entire deck shakes when you walk on it and the foundation posts are cracked or splintered, your deck should be replaced right away. An unsecured deck is dangerous. You should also consult a professional to ensure your next deck build is solid and secure.

You Want to Update or Upgrade Your Deck

Another reason to replace your deck is the desire to upgrade. If you want to expand your outdoor space or update it to a material and style you prefer, you should! Outdoor spaces are a joy, so you should invest in a deck that is comfortable, relaxing, and up to your standards. 

You might even consider upgrading your deck material to composite decking. Composite decking lasts much longer than natural wood and is easier to maintain. Composite decking does not require yearly staining and sealing, making it a favorite material for decks.

Consult the Columbus Decking Professionals

A well-maintained deck is not only safe for you and your loved ones, but it also protects your home from secondary damage. Regularly inspecting your deck for damage and undertaking repairs or replacements ensure you can enjoy your deck for many years to come. When it comes time to repair or replace your deck, reach out to our team for the best quality materials available. Strait & Lamp Group in Columbus provides multiple types of decking materials and will help you pick what is best for you.