As a deck owner, you’re likely well aware that you will have to replace your deck surface every several years. When you do this, you’ll have the option of replacing your wooden surface with a new, waterproof vinyl surface or even a different water-resistant or waterproof material. Doing so may increase the cost a bit, but will provide you with many years of longevity, ease of maintenance, and added use. When you make this decision, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
For most deck builders, a resurfacing job is a simple one because it involves using the structure that already exists, just replacing the surface boards. This means you likely don’t need to obtain a construction permit for a new structure, you don’t need to dig holes for new posts, and overall your job finishes much faster and at a much lower cost. However, a resurface isn’t always the safest option: if the internal structure is worn out, then no matter how pretty a surface you put on it, the deck is still dangerous and could collapse after resurfacing, leading to possible injury, structural damage to your home, and a massive repair bill.
Here are a few things you should check when considering whether to upgrade your deck surface:
The hardware that holds your deck together might last decades without any issues, but if you have an older deck or lower-quality hardware, the years of exposure to the elements could have caused significant rust damage, meaning the hardware could be weaker. Extensive rust is also a sign that the internal condition of the wood structure is also worn, so you will probably need to replace your structure as well.
Some less-reputable decking contractors will simply nail a deck to its structure and call it a day. However, in the event of an earthquake (which any Angelino can tell you is a constant threat), this will likely lead to your deck being condemned as unsteady. A deck should actually be secured with a lag bolt every 16 inches or so along the length of the structure.
No matter what type of deck you have on your structure, the flashing must be in good condition and capable of lasting for at least another decade in order to leave it in place. Even if you’re simply resurfacing an already-waterproofed deck, you’ll want to take a good long look at the flashing between your structure and your deck once the surface is removed. If the flashing is worn out, it will not be able to provide adequate protection from rain, dew, sprinklers, and other forms of moisture, leading to structural damage to both your deck and your building.
Finally, you’ll want to take a good look at your joists and their condition, specifically pertaining to their attachment to the ledger. A joist is a structure board over which the decking surface is laid. A ledger is a board that is used to create the overall shape of your deck, or the outside of the frame. Joists should be attached to ledgers using joist hangers, not just nails. Eventually, nails can become rusted and worn away, but a joist hanger will provide much better support for a long time to come. If they are not attached properly, your resurfacing job could take a bit longer, but the results will be a much sturdier, more durable structure.
If you need to resurface your deck, the experts at Capital Deck & Stair Waterproofing to do the job right the first time. Our experienced Los Angeles deck waterproofing contractors have been in business for more than 30 years, and are proud of our reputation of excellent workmanship and friendly, courteous service. No matter how large or small your deck might be, we know the impact it can have on your home, which is why we back up all our work with a guarantee of your satisfaction.To request a quote, call Capital Deck & Stair Waterproofing today at (310) 912-7737!