If you find yourself reading this article then it’s safe to assume that you think your decking has lost some charm, after all why else would you be here? If you answer yes to the any of the following questions, then it’s time you give your decking some TCL.
- Does your stain look lifeless or patchy compared to when it was new?
- Has your wood started to splinter or crack?
- Are there any loose or protruding nails?
- Do your planks “give” when you walk over them?
- Are there any soft or rotten planks?
Lifeless or patchy stain
Without proper deck maintenance, your wood will be exposed to the elements and overtime it will eventually lose its “new look”, slowly taking on a greyer tinge as it ages. If you wood looks patchy, or the sealant is flaking off, then it is probably time to give it some TLC and re-stain and reseal it.
The process of re-staining can be time consuming and if not done correctly, you will end up having the same issues. Whilst we recommend you get a professional to complete this job, if you want to do it yourself check out our article How to Stain Your Deck: DIY Tips
Unfortunately, if your decking has a grey tinge then you should call a professional to come and assess it. This is usually a sign that your decking should be replaced. Grey wood usually occurs when the sealant and stain have been worn off, leaving your wood to be exposed to the elements. The worst being water exposure, which often leads to wood rot, making your decking structurally unsafe.
Splintering or cracking
Any signs of splintering and cracking are generally an indication that your deck is no longer sealed properly. Wood will crack and splinter if it has been exposed to the elements, expanding, and contacting as it absorbs moisture and is then dried out by the sun. If your deck is splintering or there are signs of cracking, then it’s definitely time to call in a professional to assess the woods structural integrity. If caught early, you might be looking at a partial repair of the damaged planks.
Loose or protruding nails
Similar to splintering and cracking, if your decking has loose or protruding nails then it’s a good indicator that elemental damage has occurred. The expanding and contracting of your decking planks have forced the nail to detach itself from the decking’s frame. Whilst it might be tempting to simply hammer them back in, this is only a temporary fix. We highly recommend that you self-assess your decking for any of the other signs mentioned in this article, if you also notice one or more additional signs then it’s time to call a professional to revitalise your decking.
A simple fix: Replace your nails with screws. Screws are generally wider than nails and will grip to the plank as you resecure it to the frame.
Planks that “give” when walked on
There are a few reasons your planks might be “giving” when you’re walking on them. By “giving” we don’t mean that it creaks under your foot, we mean it slightly sinks when your weight is applied on it. Firstly, if there are no signs of previously mentioned signs of wear, we’d suggest that maybe your decking requires some more structural support beams. However, it any of the above signs are present, then we’d assume your decking may have some rot, or have fallen prey to termites. You can self-assess your decking and check if any troublesome planks are soft, or if they are brittle and crumble at your touch. If this occurs, you need to call a professional immediately as the structural integrity of your decking may be compromised.
Soft or rotten planks
You’ll be able to tell immediately if your planks are soft by simply touching them or noticing that they “give” when you walk on them.
There is no easy way to say it; if your planks are soft or you can see signs of rotting, then your deck is no longer structurally sound. We recommend calling a professional as soon as possible and advise you immediately stop using your decking until it is replaced. A rotting deck can give way at any moment and it’s not worth the risk of endangering yourself or others.
We specialise in decking and will come and assess your deck for free. You can call us on 0425 305 320 or submit your via our contact page.