No other material offers the same level of coziness and rustic appeal as wood. Although most households nowadays have started using wood composites that are made to look like wood but require less maintenance, there simply is no substitute for the original.
However, wood does require more TLC than most materials as they’re susceptible to all kinds of damage and threats. So, to make your beautiful wooden decking last, here are the common wooden deck problems you should watch out for when doing your routine maintenance.
Wood Rot and Warping
Wood rot and warping are the main enemies of wooden decks that aren’t present in other decking materials. Although wooden decks are sturdy and can last for years, constant rain, wind and sun exposure can ultimately wear down the coating, have water seep through the cracks and unprotected surfaces, and lead to wood rot.
Wood rot or dry rot is caused by fungi that rot or eat up parts of the wood that gives it strength and structure. This leads to wood to be easily broken upon stepping on it. If wood rot and warping is left untreated, it could potentially cause structural failure and injure those on the deck.
To detect wood rot, you can use a sharp object to dig into areas that seem spongy lightly. Extensive wood rot requires the replacement of the affected decks, so it’s best to stick with the preventive measures. As such, it’s essential for one to regularly apply a protective layer of paint and utilize deck coatings that are waterproof to prevent water from damaging your beautiful wooden decks.
Another issue caused by the elements, namely water, is warping which happens when the moisture levels in the different parts of the wood are uneven, mostly due to when water seeps in through cracks and other parts of the wooden deck unevenly.
Warping can cause surfaces to be uneven or even break, which can be both unsightly and unsafe. Similar to wood rot, you can prevent warping by making sure that your wooden deck always has a protective layer of paint and waterproof coating as extensive warping would warrant the replacement of the affected area.
Another problem that your wooden deck is susceptible to (but not other decking materials) is insect damage, particularly termites. Termites are the bane of any homeowner as they may not only destroy the wooden deck but could spread and attack other adjacent wooden structures of your home.
If you detect any termite damage, it’s best to leave it to the professionals as the solution requires particular skill, equipment, and chemicals.
Exposure to the elements and, notably, UV light can cause your brilliant wooden deck to look lackluster or dull. Grime, water damage, and layers of hard water can also contribute to your wooden deck’s color fading.
Luckily, it’s easy for one to fix deck fading through the use of wood cleaners and brighteners. If the fading is already extensive, one could opt to have them replaced or employ professional wood refinishing services to make it look new again.
Wooden decks are a beautiful feature for any home and offer a rustic and natural aesthetic that no other decking material can give, but they do require more maintenance than the rest. As such, it’s essential to take note of all these common wooden deck problems so you’d be aware of what to look for on your next deck inspection.