Understanding Deck Replacement -
When is it time to get a new deck?


Large wooden deck on a green house with lots of windows


Your deck space is not just an add-on to your home; it is a place of relaxation, a space for family activities, BBQs and much more.

Therefore, when your deck shows any signs of wear and tear, it needs immediate attention.

Replacing the deck is an investment towards enhancing the value of your home and is a surefire way to increase its potential resale worth.

So in this article we dig into deck replacement, what to consider, what you need to know and how to maintain your deck properly.


When is it Time for a Deck Replacement?

First off, let's find out WHEN you need to replace your deck, as this is a decision that should not be made lightly. It requires considerable investment of time, money, and resources. So, how do you know when it's time for a deck replacement?

Here are some clear indicators:

  • Severe weathering: Look for signs of splitting, cracking, or rotting wood.
  • Loose or wobbling railings: This often indicates structural instability.
  • Persistent pest infestations: Termites or other wood-boring insects can severely damage your deck.
  • Discoloration and staining: Persistent stains and discoloration may suggest water damage.


What Can You Expect to Spend on Deck Replacement?

The cost of replacing your deck can vary based on a variety of factors, including the size of the deck, the materials used, labor costs, and any additional features you may want to include.

On average, homeowners can expect to spend anywhere between $15 to $50 per square foot.

It's essential to set a clear budget and work within its parameters to ensure the project doesn't financially overwhelm you. Once you have the budget lined up, you can think about materials.


Choosing the Right Materials for Your New Deck

The materials you choose for your deck replacement significantly impact the overall aesthetics, functionality, longevity, and maintenance needs of your new deck.

Both the appearance you desire and the practical durability required for weather conditions in your area should play a significant role in your decision.

The top materials are:

  • Natural Wood: Natural wood is a timeless choice loved for its classic appeal and unique grain patterns. Types of wood commonly used for decking include pressure-treated lumber, cedar, redwood, and tropical hardwoods like teak or ipe. While pressure-treated lumber is the most affordable wood option, it requires regular maintenance to prevent weathering and decay. On the other hand, cedar and redwood offer natural resistance to weather and insects but come at a higher cost. Tropical hardwoods are exceptionally durable and visually stunning but are the most expensive wood options and may require special tools for installation.
  • Composite Materials: Composite decking, made from a blend of wood fibers and plastics, is a popular alternative to natural wood. It offers the look and feel of wood without the maintenance needs. Composite decking doesn't warp or splinter, it's resistant to rot, insects, and UV rays, and you don't need to worry about staining or sealing it. However, it's worth noting that not all composite decking looks convincingly like natural wood and the upfront costs can be higher than wood options.
  • PVC or Vinyl: PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and vinyl decking are synthetic materials offering superior resistance to moisture, UV damage, and insect infestation. These materials are incredibly low-maintenance and easy to clean, but they do not have the same natural look or feel as wood and can be more expensive initially.


The right material for your new deck will also vary based on your climate, available budget, aesthetics, and how much maintenance you're willing to do.


Getting Professional Help: Hiring a Reliable Company for Deck Replacement

Once you have decided on the main material, it's time tot hink about hiring a company for your deck replacement, as it is a quite complex tasks to do on your own.

That's why hiring a reliable deck replacement company can save you time, prevent costly mistakes, and help achieve long-lasting and professional results.

Look for a company with proven experience, valid licenses, positive customer reviews, and one that offers a warranty for their work. Always remember to get estimates from at least 3 companies and compare their quotes.


Quick Tips for Deck Maintenance

Once the deck is replaced, proper maintenance is the key to ensuring the longevity and aesthetic appeal of your deck.

Here's a comprehensive guide on how to maintain your deck effectively:

  • Regular Cleaning: Dirt accumulation and debris can cause discoloration and potential structural damage. Make a routine of sweeping your deck regularly to keep it dirt-free. Ensure a thorough clean-up at least twice a year using a deck-cleaning solution and a stiff brush to eliminate mold, mildew, or algae buildup.
  • Sealing and Staining: If your deck is made of natural wood, it will need sealing or staining every year or two to keep it protected from weather elements, UV rays, and bug infestations. There are different finishes available, so choose one that suits your preference. Please note that before you apply a new coat of sealant or stain, the deck must be clean and free of any mildew or mold.
  • Checking For Damage: Inspect your deck routinely, particularly after harsh weather conditions. Look for signs of damage like splintering, warping, loose nails, screws, or bolts, and broken or decaying wood. If any part of your deck becomes weak or rotten, it needs to be addressed promptly to avoid more serious issues and ensure safety.
  • Pest Control: Termite infestation or other wood-boring bugs can quickly undermine the integrity of your deck. If you notice sawdust or small holes in the deck's wood, it's advisable to seek professional pest control immediately.
  • Monitoring the Spaces: Ensure the gaps between the deck boards are free from debris, as accumulated leaves or dirt can trap moisture, leading to rot and decay. A putty knife can be an excellent tool for this routine task.
  • Weather-Proofing Measures: Depending on your local climate, you may want to consider additional weather-proofing measures. For instance, in wet climates, a water-repellent finish might be necessary, while in sunny regions, a UV-blocking finish will protect your deck from sun damage.
  • Protecting the Deck Furniture: The furniture on your deck also needs care. Always clean the furniture and fabrics as per the manufacturer's instructions. During the winter months, consider moving your outdoor furniture indoors or covering it to protect it from harsh weather conditions.

Remember, conscientious maintenance can significantly prolong the life of your deck, enabling it to remain a secure, delightful outdoor living space for many years.


Summing Up the Deck: Concluding Thoughts on Deck Replacement

Deck replacement is a significant home improvement project that brings aesthetic appeal, functional comfort, and an elevated home value.

While considerable, the decision to replace your deck should never be rushed. Assess the condition of your current deck, consider your budget, prepare for the process, and choose a trusted professional to help make your vision a reality. Remember, this is more than just a structure; it's a space that can revamp your home's very narrative.