Your deck is a landscaping installation that is exposed to a wide range of different weather conditions, from wildly fluctuating temperatures to excessive snow and rainfall. Over time, all of these various weather conditions can cause all sorts of stress and wear on your deck, ruining its aesthetic and causing structural damage that can ruin its functionality. Understanding the most common signs of excessive wear can help you know when you should replace your wooden deck before it becomes a safety hazard in your yard.
One of the earliest warning signs associated with a deck that is overdue for replacement is if you notice that the surface of the deck itself is shaking or moving while you move on top of it. This can point to structural damage, rotting, and other forms of decay to the underlying structure of the deck, and to the supports that anchor it into place. This can be a serious safety concern, because if allowed to progress, a deck that is improperly supported or secured could collapse and injure someone. Replacing your deck can help ensure stability and prevent injuries.
While it may initially seem like just an aesthetic concern, patches of discoloration on your wooden deck can point to excessive age and wear. These patches are places where the stain or paint have begun to wear away due to extended weather exposure, and can belie excessive age of the wood underneath or even more pressing structural concerns like mold growth and wood rot. While regular staining and painting of your wooden deck can help slow the aging process and preserve the wood underneath, if large swathes of your deck have become discolored you should examine the condition of the wood underneath and consider replacement.
Finally, the most obvious sign that you should get in touch with a decking contractor about replacing your wooden deck is if you notice any sign of actual damage to the deck boards. This can be relatively minor damage that is widespread, like warping or twisting, or can be more serious structural issues like split boards, holes somewhere in your deck, or even damaged and broken deck posts. Damage like this only rarely happens all at once: more often than not, your deck will accumulate a series of scars over a long period of time, so this damage will also represent the aged nature of your wooden decking.
To learn more about wood decks, contact companies like Houston Deck and Shade LLC.