Deck repair doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Some simple fixes can be done by homeowners, while others require the services of a professional handyman. Before you call in a contractor, make sure to evaluate your needs. Read customer reviews and look at before-and-after photos to get an idea of what to expect.
If you have a deck in your yard, chances are you’ve already noticed some blemishes. These blemishes can affect the structural integrity of the deck and can lead to bigger issues down the road. The most obvious blemishes to check for are cracks or holes in the boards. However, more subtle blemishes may be less obvious. You should also keep an eye out for signs of rot. This is especially common in areas with high humidity. Rot causes the wood to deteriorate, and can be easily detected by its softness. It can be hard to remove, but it’s usually best to replace the affected area.
Another sign that you might need to do some deck repair is if you’re seeing a lot of water pooling. This can be caused by erosion, or a change in the slope of your lawn. Taking care of this problem can help your deck last longer.
Cracks in the wood may need to be sealed with a good sealant. Small cracks will typically heal with time, while larger cracks require replacement. In the meantime, you can fill the gap with latex wood filler.
The most important tool you’ll need for any deck job is a tape measure. This is especially important for measuring the distance between two posts. Also, you’ll need a circular saw to cut a new plank.
Once you’ve checked the joists and railings for cracks or other problems, it’s time to replace any damaged boards. Be sure to use the same type of wood, and make sure your measurements are accurate. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a mess.
For large jobs, you might have to rent heavy equipment. But if you are handy with a few tools, you might be able to do the majority of your own repairs. To save money, check with your local reuse and recycle centers to see if they offer discounted supplies.
Wood rot is a common problem with older wooden decks. The microscopic fungi breaks down the wood. Over time, rotting can cause the wood to crack, crumble, or break off, making it unsafe to walk on. Additionally, the rot can spread to surrounding wood and weaken the structure of the deck. A chisel is useful for removing rotting joists, while a wood putty can fix soft joists.
While the most effective deck repair is not always the easiest, it can be worth the effort if you notice a joist is broken. Reattaching a joist to a header or ledger joist is a good start.
Even if the joists are not cracked or damaged, you’ll still want to seal the joists to prevent moisture from getting inside. You can use a wood preservative for an extra layer of protection, and you’ll also need to make sure your railings and handrails are secure.