Deck Replacement: 5 Signs It's Time to Replace Your Deck

a deck with a gazebo and trees in the background

If Your Deck Shows These Signs, It May Be Time for a Replacement

Decks are built to last, but even the best-constructed decks will need to be replaced eventually. As decks age, they naturally lose structural integrity, which creates an unsafe situation for you and your family. The materials used may also begin to deteriorate and show age, thus taking away from the beauty of your home. How do you know if it's time for a deck replacement?

Having been in business for more than 45 years, Nelson Exteriors is one of Atlanta's top deck builders, and in that time we've seen the complete lifecycle of decks, from start to finish. To continue enjoying your outdoor space, it's important to know what warning signs to look for when it comes to your deck. Here's how to tell when it's time for a deck replacement.

1. Visible Rot or Deterioration

Virtually all decks will deteriorate with time, even with ongoing maintenance. Wood decks are particularly susceptible to deterioration and rot, and this is an important sign to watch for which may indicate you need a deck replacement.

While deterioration takes time, you'll eventually start to see signs that your deck is past its prime. Areas of your deck may have bouncy or sagging boards, or even soft, spongy areas that indicate rot. Boards may become loose, or pieces may break off altogether. If this happens, it's time to replace your deck.

2. Pests Have Moved In

Pests are another clear sign that it's time to replace your deck. Most pests need some kind of vulnerability to allow them to move in, likely due to rotting areas that may not yet be visible. While a wasp's nest in the corner isn't a sign that you have deck problems, any evidence of wood-destroying creatures like termites, carpenter ants, or carpenter bees suggests the structure of your deck is being weakened from the inside.

3. Unsecure Railings

The railings of your deck are a critical safety feature, especially if your deck has a significant elevation. While certain parts of your deck will still be usable as it ages, broken or wobbly railings create a hazardous situation that should be remedied immediately.

Railings can sometimes be replaced on their own. However, it may be better to complete a full deck replacement depending on how deep the problems run.

4. Deteriorating Ledger Board or Joists

Certain parts of your deck's construction are especially critical to its structural integrity. Joists and ledger boards are chief among them.

Joists form the key supporting component for the planks that make up your deck's surface. They attach to your ledger board, which is in turn attached to your home to provide stability.

While floor planks may be replaced fairly easily, replacing your deck's joists—and especially the ledger board—is a more significant undertaking. If your joists or ledger board begins to deteriorate, it's often better in the long run to complete a deck replacement.

5. Your Deck Has Reached Its Expected Lifespan

As with any portion of your home's exterior, every deck has an expiration of sorts—its expected lifespan. While the expected lifespan of your deck will vary depending on the materials used, the quality of its construction, and ongoing maintenance efforts, every deck will reach the end of the line eventually.

What's more, the older your deck gets, the more difficult it will be to repair. If you're beginning to notice problems with your deck and you know it's approaching the end of its lifespan, it may be more cost-efficient to complete a deck replacement.

Nelson Exteriors: Your Deck Replacement Professionals

Nelson Exteriors is the leading deck builder serving the Metro Atlanta area, with premier deck services backed by 45 years of experience. Our professional builders can help bring your dream deck to life—or replace the deck you've been enjoying for years. By using composite materials from Trex and TimberTech, as well as high-quality lumber, we'll build a durable, long-lasting deck that will last your family for years to come.

Don't allow an unsafe deck to take away from the summer months! Our team can complete a full deck replacement that will rejuvenate your home's outdoor space and provide the perfect place to gather for years to come. Reach out to Nelson Exteriors today for a quote.