Just like every other structural component of your home, decks wear out over time. They may actually break down sooner than most of your other structures, because they are outside and must regularly face the elements (in San Diego that can mean lots of UV rays, heavy heat and occasional rain).
How do you know when it’s time to replace your deck?
Here are a few obvious indications:
- There is no deck when you open up your back door (i.e. your existing deck collapsed)
- The handrails are so weak that they are now considered “finger rails”
- The stairs are so loose that going down them reminds you of your first time skiing
- Every time you go out on your deck, the termites greet you by name
- Your support frame is done doing the “support thing” and decides to take up painting instead
- The posts which were originally sunk deep into the soil are now noticeably naked and having way too much fun with the nudity thing
In all seriousness, if you notice loose handrails, weak steps, moist areas where the wood is rotting, a shaky support frame or soil erosion around the posts, your deck is not safe.
Some of these issues are repairable, but depending on the severity and if you notice more than one issue, it might just be better to pull the whole thing down and rebuild a sturdy and safe deck for your family. If you are unsure of the safety of your deck ALWAYS CALL AN EXPERT TO PERFORM A DECK SAFETY INSPECTION.