Your Wood Deck: Repair or Replace?

In the Philadelphia region, an outdoor deck is a common and much sought-after element in home design. Our relatively mild weather most of the year makes a deck a great place to entertain guests, relax, and grill year-round. But our rainy weather and unpredictable winters can cause a deck to wear considerably, resulting in noticeable deterioration within just a few years, especially if yearly maintenance has been neglected. Some deck issues can actually be safety hazards.

Common deck problems:

• Wood decking is rotting, cracked, or warped
• Color is faded and ugly
• Deck board grain has become prominent and splintered
• Deck railings are loose or are missing rungs
• Steps are unstable, missing boards, or lack a safe railing
• Nails are lifting
• Connection to the house is damaged or deteriorating

Types of repairs

Some deck maintenance you can do yourself, such as the annual deck cleaning. There are some excellent deck cleaning products and mildew removers to choose from. Wood should be given a protective finish or stain and a water sealant. There are services that can handle these jobs for you, however, if you don’t have the time or the inclination.

Repairs on your deck should be done by a professional since there are safety concerns if flooring or railings are not installed properly. Here at M&K Renovations, when we evaluate a deck to determine its condition and what repairs it may need, we look at the underlying structure as well. If the foundation of the deck is in good condition, we may only need to repair or replace select floorboards or railings rather than rebuild, saving you time and money.

Our goal is to make your deck safe, beautiful, and comfortable, creating an outdoor living space that is an extension of your home. We evaluate the overall sturdiness of the structure to decide if we can repair it, replace just parts of it, or if it would be best to start from scratch. It is not usually necessary to completely replace a deck unless it has been neglected for some time or if there has been serious storm damage.

Taking advantage of an opportunity

In most cases, a deck can be made to look new again at a modest cost by making necessary repairs, sanding the entire surface, and staining or refinishing the deck in a manner that makes the new wood match the old beautifully. But if more work is needed, it could be an opportunity to rethink your outdoor living space. If part of the structure needs replacing, consider redesigning or expanding the size or shape of your deck. Consider adding a roof over part of your patio, so you can enjoy the outdoors in rain or shine.

If a complete redo is needed, you may want to rebuild with more durable materials. Some woods last longer than others, and some fabricated materials mimic the look of wood without the high maintenance and the worry about splintering or warping.

Think about what you use your deck for, and dream about how you would like to use it. Bring us your dreams and we’ll work to make your dream deck a reality.


Renovating the Philadelphia Area for Over 16 years