Is It Cheaper to Repair or Replace a Deck?
Consider the deck’s age
Traditional wood decks have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, while composite and polymer decks can last for much longer.
Knowing the material of your deck and its age can give you a better idea of whether you should replace the deck entirely or repair it. How long do decks last? Wood decks can last as long as 15 years, while composite decking can last anywhere from 20 to 25 years. If your deck is composed of capped polymer, it could stay in decent condition for up to 50 years.
If the deck is nearing the end of its lifespan and showing signs of significant rotting or damage in multiple areas, deck replacement might be the best solution. However, if the deck still has years left in its expected life and the wear and tear is superficial (think splintering or fading), it may make more sense to replace deck boards instead of rebuilding a deck.
Inspect the main areas of the deck to check how they’re holding up:
Before you go into DIY mode or call up a local deck repair person, it helps to do an inspection of your deck to see the extent of its issues. Looking at the ledger board is a good place to start; this is the long, pressure-treated board that attaches to your home. If this piece is significantly rotted or damaged, it could result in the deck collapsing. Ledger boards can be repaired, but if rot from the ledger board has spread to more of the deck or the stability of the deck has become compromised, the deck might warrant replacement.
Another important place to check is under the deck. The beams and joists beneath a deck act as the support system and are susceptible to water damage over time. The sooner you catch problems with these pieces, the better:It’s easy for a deck repair pro to fix this area if the problems are relatively new and the deck material isn’t compromised.
Other areas to inspect include fascia board, posts, flashing, railing, and the deck’s surface. Generally, if more than one area is showing signs of damage, you may need to start looking into the cost to rebuild a deck. If you’re wondering how to redo a deck for cheap, be aware that the costs of repairing individual features may add up to more than a brand-new deck would cost.
Deck beyond repair?
Getting a quote from a deck installer can help determine if it makes more sense to repair or replace deck components… Or install a new deck.
If you’re on the fence about replacing deck boards or redoing the whole thing… It’s helpful to get some input from a professional deck installer. They can look at your deck and give you an estimate on the cost of deck repair versus replacement. Professionals have years of experience to rely on and up-to-date figures for materials and labour. Plus, they’ll be able to catch issues that a homeowner might not be aware of… In order to give a complete picture of the state of the deck.
For example, a deck installer may see that your deck is in decent shape. But looks worse for wear because of peeling, chipping, or fading. In this case, they might suggest one of the best deck resurfacers in lieu of a whole new deck. Or, the expert may give you a timeline for how much longer your current deck will last… Before it’s time to demo it and build a replacement.
A damaged deck can be dangerous. Replace it ASAP.