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6 Signs It’s Time for a Deck Replacement

older deck on a bright sunny day

If you have friends over for a nice dinner on your deck, will you be relaxing and enjoying their company, or will you be worried about someone tripping and falling? Having a deck that’s safe and functional is essential to your home—and we mean the structure itself as well as the wellbeing of your family and guests. It’s true that a deck repair can extend the life of any structure, but there is a limit. Sometimes, a deck is in a state of disrepair that’s impossible to bounce back from. The only option is a full deck replacement.

But how do you spot the signs that it’s time? While in some instances, it may be obvious—broken supports, widespread rot, detached railings—it’s not always apparent. It’s easy to look at a few blemishes and decide you can live with them, but let’s go over some signs that you really should take the plunge and opt to replace the whole thing.

Structural Issues

Walk out into your backyard and examine your entire deck from a distance. How does it look? Is everything smooth and straight, or is there obvious bowing accompanied by several broken boards? While replacing deck boards is a perfectly viable solution in some instances, too many of them signifies a deck that is on its way out. They could cause splinters, twisted ankles, or even worse injuries.

If your deck is no longer level and is bowing in the middle, this is another big concern. It means the support beams or joists have weakened, and they could give out at any time. If that time comes when you’re hosting a barbecue, it could spell disaster.

Rotting Wood

If your wood is rotting, that’s a big indicator that your deck’s time is up. Not sure how to spot it? Be on the lookout for discolored, soft, or spongy spots. Wood rot is generally caused by moisture, and can spread quickly if left unrepaired. When it spreads to a significant portion of the structure, the whole deck is compromised.Don’t only examine the surface you walk on. While it’s essential to take stock of the stairs and main walking surface, the underside of the deck and the outside of the railings are just as important. If these spots are few and far between, replacing deck boards is probably the best solution. If your deck is covered in these spots, though, it’s time to replace it!

Wobbly Railings

These are a significant safety concern. When railings are wobbly, they’re at risk of failing to fulfill their main function: preventing falls. Imagine you’re on your deck and you lean on the railing for some support, but it gives out. There are several possible outcomes to this situation, and none of them are fun to think about. If a railing is loose, it’s an indication that the posts or frame are deteriorating.

It isn’t just the posts that you should take a look at, either. Even if there’s little to no wobbling, the fasteners should still be examined. Rusted nails, screws, and brackets can contribute to the weakening of a deck without being noticed until it’s too late. If the rust is prevalent, it may be time for—you guessed it—a full deck replacement.

Extensive Cracking

Watch out for cracks in your deck’s surface! Not only are they a risk for trips and splinters, but they’re a possible entry for water that will keep the wood moist and lead to rot. If cracks are minor, chances are they can be repaired. If they’re wide and plentiful, it may be too late.

While checking for cracks, keep an eye on support beans and railing posts. If there are cracks in these areas, their ability to support weight may be compromised. Replace the affected parts if possible, but consider a deck replacement if the issue is widespread.

An Aging Deck

No matter the quality of your deck materials, there will come a time when it’s simply too old to be reliable (yes, even those built by yours truly). If you see these signs of age, the time has come.

Lifespan of Materials

Decks have varying lifespans depending on the materials they’re made of. While wood decks will usually last 10 to 15 years, composite decks have a longer lifespan of 25 to 30 years. Similarly, vinyl decks can be expected to last 20 to 30 years. If your deck is approaching (or has exceeded) this timeframe, start planning the replacement!

Wear and Tear

As decks get older, wear and tear is an unavoidable occurrence. The more wear and tear, the more difficult and less effective maintenance and repairs will be. There comes a point where splintering, warping, and fading are to be expected, so it’s important to know when enough is enough.

Safety Concerns

The need for repairs and replacements in any structure is driven by the need for safety. If that wasn’t a concern, it would simply be down to aesthetics and functionality. If you’ve noticed an increase in accidents, injuries, or even close calls, this is a strong indication that a deck replacement is needed. Safety should be a primary concern for any deck owner, so always be aware of the wellbeing of yourself and your guests.


Recognizing the signs that it’s time to replace your deck—structural issues, wood rot, unstable railings, and more—is essential to maintain the safety of everyone who sets foot on it. Deck repair is an option up to a certain point, but past that point, the need for a deck replacement is unavoidable. Luckily, we’re the best in the business, and we’re here to help! Get in touch with us for a new deck that will stand the test of time.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 18th, 2024 at 10:04 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.