Wood has a certain warm and inviting quality that can’t be replaced by any other building material, which is why many homes use wood for their home’s decks. A wooden deck is a trendy and useful addition to any home; not only do wooden decks add to your house’s curb appeal but it provides for a relaxing and open living space where family and friends can lounge and socialize. However, wooden decks are susceptible to a number of issues that need to be addressed as soon as they’re detected. But before we even get into the usual issues plaguing wooden decks, it’s important to note that preventive maintenance for your deck should be a part of your usual homeowner’s routine.

Importance of Preventive Maintenance

Not only do deck damages and issues cause a lot of headaches, but they’re quite costly, too. According to an in-depth article by HomeGuide, simple deck repairs could range from $100 to $500, while more serious issues can cost you between $1500 and $2500.00. So make sure that you regularly inspect, clean, and maintain your wooden deck; it’s one of those cases where prevention is a lot cheaper than the cure. Now, let’s take a look at the common wooden deck issues and how you can fix them:

Water Damage

As with all things made of wood, water damage is one of the most common and oftentimes severe of the wooden deck issues, particularly because a deck is constantly exposed to the elements. A new deck is often coated and sealed to prevent water damage, but this wears out eventually over time and use which is why it’s important to invest in high-quality waterproof deck coating and re-apply once they wear off. Signs of water damage are damp stains, rotting, and warping. And the only reliable means of repair is replacing the water-damaged pieces of wood then sealing it. You can test your deck if it needs to be re-coated/sealed by sprinkling some water on it and it seeps into the wood instead of beading on its surface.

Fading Deck Color

Over time, wear and tear, and exposure to the elements, your wooden deck would eventually lose its color and turn gray. This is oftentimes just an aesthetic issue, but you may also want to check for water damage as well. Sometimes discolored decks only need a good pressure wash, thorough cleaning with a wood cleaner, and some wood brightener to restore it back to its glory. But if the fading and weathering are more extensive, you may need sand and stain your deck or replace the weathered segments.

Board Gaps

Over time, some types of wood lose their moisture and shrink, resulting in gaps in your deck that can be a safety hazard. While it does take years for this to happen, it’s still quite a common issue and could only be fixed by replacing the shrunken boards.

Structural Issues

close shot of a wood deck

Saving the best for last, we have the common yet very costly issue of structural weakness. Decks that are constructed by inexperienced homeowners as a DIY home improvement project are sometimes structurally unsound. If you suspect that your deck has structural issues due to heavy creaking, bending, or if you notice the structure is sinking or tipping, it’s best to have a professional fix and stabilize it for you.

Conclusion

Now that you know the importance of preventive maintenance for your deck, as well as the common issues of wooden decks, you’d be able to know what to watch out for and fix during your regular inspections and maintenance routines. Just remember to stay safe when you do your repairs and hire a professional if needed.