How to Inspect a Wood Deck for Rot and Restore It

There’s nothing that creates a warm connection with the outdoor space like a new sparkling wood decking. In fact, not only it adds to a perfect view of your exterior, but it also sets the stage for the many outdoor activities you wish to host.

However, timber decks endure a lot tough times, both from foot traffic and continuous exposure to damp weather conditions. Without diligent care, they may wear out and become unpleasant in a few years.

Luckily, most wood decking have cosmetic and not structural surfaces because they are made of durable wood. In most cases, cedar, redwood, or pine wood (pressure-treated) are the real deals.

One reason why redwood and cedar woods are preferred is that they are naturally resistant to decay and termites. Pine can be pressure-treated using a pesticide to enhance its termite resistance and decay-blocking properties. They still can’t survive the devastating effects of the sun whose ultraviolet (UV) rays break down the lignin and fibres on the wood surface, leading to greying and erosion.

If you live in humid or damp areas, you are likely to see stains and mildew, which mostly occur because of excess moisture, especially in places where surfaces are never dry.

How to Inspect your Decking for Rots

•    Spare time to check up the wood and confirm the presence of any rots.  Regrettably, wood rots often occur in hidden places that you can easily go without seeing. They affect places like the ledger, below the decking boards and beneath the stairs.

•    If possible, you will have to crawl under the decking for a thorough inspection. For rots that go 1/2-inch-deep or less, there’s no need to do away with the entire board. However, deeper and widespread rotting will require you to replace the board.

•    Carefully remove the decayed boards using a pry bar and then swap them for rot-resistant wood. If you notice protruding nails, do not hammer them down again. Instead, remove the nails and replace with new longer nails or decking screws. Finally, remove any debris stuck between the decking boards using a putty knife or scoring tool.

•    The process of restoring your deck is very simple. First, if your decking is above an area that’s usable, for example on the second floor, begin by protecting the area below using large plastic sheeting.

•    Next, clean the surface of the deck as you check for and treat any present discoloration.

•    Lastly, carefully apply a layer of durable and protective finish on top of your decking.

It is important to give an old-looking deck a better as soon as you notice it. If the wood surface stays unprotected for an extended period, it soaks up moisture resulting in a serious mess. Because decks are subjected to nonstop foot traffic, sun rays, rain, ice and snow, you may need to inspect and treat it every so often, maybe once a year.