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Choice and timing of garden deck replacement

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

As an outdoor space for gathering with your family, your outdoor deck boards need to be used regularly. Over time, your patio deck boards may develop problems such as mold, rot, cracking, and so on. Then you need to do a garden deck replacement.

So are you wondering when to have your deck replacement? Whether you are using a traditional wooden deck, consider upgrading to a composite deck. Or are you expanding your outdoor living space, it’s important to have a detailed understanding of your deck.

When you have a problem with your deck, you can either have it repaired or have it replaced. New deck replacement is divided into two different projects.

Deck Boards Replacement

This project is also known as “resurfacing”. This type of deck replacement requires the original substructure to be left intact and only the deck surface boards to be replaced. Of course, some repair or reinforcement of the substructure may be required if necessary.

Wet, rotten, warped, or cracked decking surfaces are common reasons for replacing the existing deck.

Whole Deck Replacement

The whole deck replacement project involves the complete dismantling and replacement of the entire structure, meaning that everything from the substructure to the deck surface and railings needs to be replaced.

The reason for a full deck replacement is usually widespread rot in the joists, beams, or posts of the substructure, resulting in a serious risk to your life and that of your family.

In summary, whether you replace the deck surface or the entire deck depends on the health of your deck and your budget.

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How do I choose to repair or replace my deck?

Often, deck repairs may be more cost-effective than replacing the entire deck boards. There are three things we can do to determine the right path for your deck project

1. assess the health of your deck boards

2. consider the life of the deck (how many years you plan to use the deck

3. consider the cost of repair and replacement

Consider these factors to determine if your deck needs to be repaired or replaced.

Step 1: Assess the health of your deck

Before deciding to replace your deck, you first need to understand the health of your outdoor deck. You will need to carry out a thorough inspection of the deck surface and substructure.

Possible problems with the deck include.

Rot, mold, and mildew on the substructure or surface

Rusted or loose fasteners in the substructure or surface

Loose sill plates, a key part of the substructure

Not fully sure of the deck’s structural integrity? Or don’t understand the difference between substructure and deck surfaces? Click to learn about the anatomy of a deck.

Surface and substructure issues to look out for with wooden decking

In rainy weather, traditional timber decking is susceptible to moisture, further leading to mold and rot in the deck structure. In fact, the average lifespan of a traditional timber deck is only 10 to 15 years when it is in a good state of maintenance, so replacing it is inevitable.

When checking the health of your deck, look out for these common problems with wooden decking.

Rot and mold

Both moisture and mold on your deck, caused by a humid environment, can weaken the structure of your deck. Pay particular attention to deck joists and uprights, as these are common areas subject to moisture damage.

Situations that can be repaired: When you have small cases of rot, mold, or mildew on the surface of your deck, it is easy to deal with and can be repaired straight away.

Situations where full replacement is possible: widespread rot throughout the deck substructure that affects the structural integrity of the outdoor deck.

Rusty or lose fasteners

Can occur anywhere on an outdoor deck.

The situation that can be repaired: Some rusted or loose fasteners exist in the deck species and can be easily replaced.

Full replacement: Excessive rust or loose screws in the substructure, which means there is widespread decay or insect damage to the deck.

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Loose Ledger Board

The Ledger Board is the part of the deck substructure that holds the deck to your house. You will need to go under the deck to view it or remove the surface boards closest to the house to view it.

Situations that can be repaired: There is a build-up of debris between the sill and the house, indicating a small gap.

Situations where full replacement is possible: widespread decay and the sill has been pulled away from the house.

How to fix common wood deck problems

If the problems with your deck are not serious and only need repair, you can get your deck back to its best condition by following these methods

Rotting and mold problems

1. Clean the mold with a suitable deck cleaner.

2. For rotten wooden decks or substructures, we recommend replacing the affected elements.

Rusty or lose fasteners

1. Replace rusty screws and fasteners.

2. Tighten any loose fasteners or screws.

3. Use a hammer to hammer in protruding nails.

Loose ledger panels

1. Remove all debris from between ledgers.

2. Tighten the fasteners to better secure the ledger board.

3. If the ledger is loose due to decay, it needs to be replaced.

Possible problems with composite decking

If you already have a COOWIN composite deck or a co-extruded composite deck. Your outdoor deck will be protected from moisture and mold, and the deck surface will be free from warping and cracking. However, your substructure may be made of wood. When inspecting your composite decking, check for problems with the wooden substructure to ensure your deck lasts.

Step 2: Consider the life of your deck

How long do you plan to live in your current home? How many years do you want to use your current deck? Considering these questions can help you understand how to be more cost-effective. Or whether you will get greater long-term value by replacing your deck completely.

If you are planning to move within a few years

then you may want to opt for repairs for your deck problem. Or just replace the deck surface. If you have any structural problems with your deck, make sure you repair or replace the affected structure to ensure safety.

If you plan to stay for a long time

then consider replacing your complete deck or upgrading your wooden deck to composite decking for a longer-lasting, lower-maintenance outdoor living space. Choosing to use a higher quality composite decking may cost more upfront than using traditional wood decking. However, in the long run, it will save you a lot of money in maintenance costs. Plus, you’ll have more time to enjoy the outdoors.

Step 3: Consider the cost of repair versus replacement

If the cost of repair is close to or greater than the cost of a complete deck replacement, then it is more appropriate to go for a complete deck replacement. A full replacement deck will give you greater long-term value. With a complete deck replacement, you can also change the design style and enjoy a different outdoor living experience.

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