Repair or replace your old deck?

Repair or replace your old deck? To repair or to replace your old deck is the question. Know when you can salvage what you have currently and know when it is better to scrap the deck and start fresh for your exterior. Loose boards and damaged wood can look like just a quick project from the surface – but you can run into more than you bargained for. Deck repair is a common exterior improvement project that adds value to your home and enjoyment to your outdoor living space. There are many reasons that decks may need repair, from structural to cosmetic. Many people try to repair their own decks, which can be an economical option if you have carpentry experience. If, however, you have little to no experience with carpentry, you will save money and time by hiring a contractor. This will ensure everything is done correctly, and your deck meets important safety guidelines and requirements so you can enjoy it for years to come.

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Deck repair costs an average of $1,381 with many homeowners spending between $717 and $2,093. Although it requires an investment of time and money, it costs significantly less than replacement, as long as the deck is structurally intact and the wood is healthy. When your contractor inspects your deck, he or she will be able to tell you if it can be repaired or if you need to tear it out and start over. Here are some cost factors that play into the total cost of deck repair. Look for these signs that you will need to replace deck boards or potentially start fresh and build a new deck: Dry rot, mold or mildew, and termites.

Make sure your deck lasts this time around! To ensure that you don’t need to go through the whole process of repairing or replacing your  exterior deck again for the next few decades, make sure to properly clean and maintain it. It’s a good idea to set up a cleaning schedule to make sure your deck is getting the care it needs year-round. • Set aside time in the spring to give it a thorough wash, sweep and cleaning. Your contractor can recommend the best cleaner for your specific deck, which generally costs$10 to $30. Use the cleaner according to its specifications. For best results, choose a cloudy (but not rainy) day, so the sun won’t evaporate the cleaner. • Seal the deck in late spring, allowing two days for the task. During this step, replace any missing or popped nails and screws, and lightly sand the deck. • During summer, examine your deck for rot or mildew. Pay extra attention to the ledger, joists, posts and beams. • In the fall, set your deck up with a preventative maintenance plan. Sweep away debris and take care of any cleaning or sealing that you didn’t get around to in the spring. With this year-round plan, your deck will stay in great shape for years to come.