When Springtime arrives, you might notice that your outdoor deck needs some care after a harsh winter. Perhaps the stairs and railing are uneven and unsafe, or the deck’s boards are deteriorated and loose. It’s possible that the design is just out of date and no longer serves your needs.

How can you decide whether it’s preferable to invest in a new deck or undertake deck repairs? That’s a good question and one that homeowners frequently ask.

Your deck serves as a summertime getaway and social gathering spot, so you want it to appear and perform at its best.

Here are a few things to think about when deciding whether your property would benefit more from a deck replacement or repair(s)…

Consider the age of the deck

Replacing old deck

Your deck experiences wear and tear from the elements and ages much like any other part of your house.

Your deck is more likely to need replacement rather than repair as it becomes older. Several frequent deck problems include:

  • Areas that have moisture damage and are decaying away
  • Unstable beams causing the deck to sway dangerously
  • Safety risks such as crumbling stairs, railings and boards

A new deck is frequently the choice if yours is worn out and outdated; However, if the deck is still physically solid and not too old, fixing it might be a smart option.

Check the surface of the deck

The handrals, railings and deck boards themselves make up the deck’s surface.

Wood surfaces exposed to moisture have a tendency to decay, and UV radiation destroys the wood’s fibers and fades the color of the wood, making it easier for water to seep into the wood and cause damage.

The surface of your deck is most susceptible to UV rays and moisture exposure, making it the section that is most prone to disintegrate quickly.

Take the overall cost into consideration

Remember that while choosing between fixing and replacing your deck, the cost will play a significant role.

A deck repair could be an affordable option if the damaged deck components are only minor. However, the cost can start to mount if numerous deck areas need to be repaired.

Repairs occasionally cost as much as a new deck. In this situation, installing a new deck may be more cost effective because it will provide you with the desired level of safety, aesthetic appeal and practicality, as well as the increased lifetime that comes with newly placed materials.

Inspect the deck post(s)

Replacing old deck

The vertical components that keep the deck up and off the ground are known as the deck posts.

Posts typically receive little UV radiation, and their vertical position causes them to shed water. There are two locations where water can gather, though.

If water collects at the base of the post where it rests on the footer, the post may begin to rot. Moisture may also collect where the beams are fastened to the post.

Inspect the deck railing(s)

Over time, railings will inevitably become weakened or loose. Water degradation can lead the railings to become unstable before they should. Minor railing problems are simple to fix if they are discovered in time. However, if enough of the railing is seriously harmed, it can be too challenging to replace, necessitating a new deck.

Inspect joists and beams

The horizontal wood components supporting the deck planks underneath the deck are called joists and beams.

The joists run between the beams, which are the larger of the two. Beams and joists that are horizontal typically decay first when they join other pieces of wood. This is because fasteners like screws give moisture a way to enter the wood while the joint itself may act as a moisture trap.

How do you know when it’s time to replace your deck?

While you can make adjustments to your deck to keep its aesthetic appeal, if there are structural safety risks then you must replace it. If replacing the deck would cost the same as fixing the deck, do so.

Here are some indicators that a deck needs to be replaced…

1. Weak joists and beams

2. Failure of the ledger boards

3. Insufficient ledger flashing

4. Erosion near the posts’ bottoms


Our specialty at Born Carpentry is environmentally-friendly, low-maintenance and high-quality decking materials. To learn more about upgrading your outdated wooden deck with materials that utilize advanced technology, get in touch with us online or by phone at 612-747-8003.