Your deck is a vital part of your home. You make memories on that deck, relaxing as the sun sets over your lake house, hosting your family, friends, and loved ones for dinner and backyard barbecues.
Has your deck seen better days? Do you see some warped boards, gray boards, or boards with some nails coming up? Does this get worse every summer?
Have you been considering fixing your deck or replacing it?
The experts at Seal Smart can help you determine whether you should save your current deck or build a new one.
How old is your deck?
Traditional wood decks typically last 10 to 15 years without any sealing or treatment. Professional deck sealing companies can help your deck last longer with our 25-year warranty.
If your deck is approaching 15 to 20 years old, you might consider replacing it providing it hasn’t been sealed and is still in good condition.
What condition is your deck in?
Take a look at your deck when you’re cleaning one day during the summer months.
Do you see a lot of curved boards? Do you trip on some of these boards as you walk around your deck? How many of these boards are there?
Another thing to look at is rotting wood. Are there any rotten boards? If so, how many? How big are any potential gaps that might happen if the boards completely break away?
Look over the size of the rotting. Is it longer than the size of your foot? If so, it might pose a hazard to the safety of you, your pets, and your family.
Most importantly, look at the supporting wood underneath your deck, if you can. Are any of the supporting beams starting to rot? Are any of the 2×4 planks running cross-wise under your deck?
If you feel as if the deck isn’t safe anymore, particularly with the wood supporting the structure, you might want to replace your entire deck with brand-new boards.
If the damage is just on your boards on top of the deck, repairs can be a good way to keep your costs down.
How much money can you spend?
Budgetary concerns are, rightfully so, the main focus of whether you should repair your current deck or build a brand-new one.
The average cost of a new deck is $6,280, around $25 per square foot. Your overall costs will depend on where you live, the contractor you hire, and the size of the deck.
Repairing a deck can cost anywhere from $5 to $80 per square foot, depending on the material (hardwood costs more than softwood).
Maintenance costs for a deck run anywhere from $5 to $7 per square foot, which includes a power washer, screws or nails, cleaning supplies, or any wood hardener you want to use. You normally do the work yourself, so there are no labor costs. But the good news is that you only have to maintain your deck once or twice a year unless a storm damages it.
Professional deck sealing can reduce your overall maintenance costs by preventing rot, mold, and mildew from softening the wood.
What damage should you look for in an old deck?
It’s important to examine the ledger of your deck. This is where your deck is attached to your house if it’s not freestanding.
You must maintain your ledger from the moment your deck was built or when you first bought your house. The fasteners used for the ledger should be screws and not nails. Look for signs of rust or if there are holes. If the ledger is damaged, it can be repaired by a professional.
When examining the joists and beams underneath the main boards of your deck, look for rotted areas. If you see any rot, reinforce those areas by placing new boards overlapping where the damaged area used to be. Make sure you get rid of the damaged spots first before installing the new planks.
If you’re replacing old and rusted hardware, reinforce those areas first before taking the old hardware (like joints) off and replacing them.
How do I replace cracked boards without changing the look of my deck?
Unfortunately, replacing cracked boards with new ones will mean the color of the planks will be different. If you stain your deck, you can stain the new boards the same hue as the rest of them.
How can I determine repair versus replacement for my deck?
It depends on your priorities. Is safety more important than aesthetics? Do you feel your old deck is unsafe? Then consider getting an entirely new deck.
If you don’t mind some new boards mismatching with the old ones, then repairs might be a relevant choice for your home.
Can you prevent moisture damage from reducing the longevity of your deck?
Yes, with professional and permanent deck sealing from Seal Smart. Our 25-year warranty on all wood sealant for decks is the best in the industry.
Make sure to see our Seal Smart reviews to find out what many satisfied customers have to say about our projects!