Decks face many damaging factors as external fixtures. They endure rain, snow, UV rays, and constant foot traffic. Wooden decks are a lot of work to maintain. Even with regular maintenance practices, the decking eventually reaches its breaking point. Or, what we like to call its cracking point. No matter how well you seal the deck, after a number of years, the boards need replacing. Sometimes you can get away with replacing a few here and there until eventually, they all need to go. This demands a service called total board replacement. In this blog we describe total board replacement and the benefits of a installing a new deck surface.
What is Total Board Replacement
Old decks often sit on a sturdy foundation. Our customers attest to the quality build of their deck structure. Most times, we agree. If your deck was well-built, chances are the posts, joists, and footings are just fine. In these cases, no need to rebuild Deck Ready specializes in saving your deck. One way to save very damaged decks is to do a total board replacement. This includes replacing all floor boards, top rails, and step treads. To summarize, we replace all horizontal boards for brand new wood. Then, the entire deck, including the railings and band board get sanded and prepped for staining. It’s important to sand and stain after total board replacement so that the old wood of the foundation matches the new decking.
Total Board Replacement Process
Total board replacement requires a framing crew. Technicians tear up all old floor boards section by section until you’re left with the shell of your deck. Then, they install new wood board by board as closely together as possible. They make sure the boards are touching so that when they shrink as they dry, the spaces between are minimal. Spaces between boards allow rain to drain through the deck. Technicians install today’s decking with exterior deck screws, as opposed to nails. Unlike nails, screws stay in the boards without popping up over time. Once all of the new boards are replaced, the deck needs time to settle. We recommend a minimum of two weeks time for drying and shrinking of your new deck surface.
Do I Need Total Board Replacement
Total board replacement is a last resort for deck refinishing. Our first attempts include reviving existing wood to save customers money. However, if more than half of the decking boards are warped or cracked beyond repair, you have to invest in total board replacement. The condition of your wood depends on how well you maintain it. If you regularly stained and avoided power washing, you are less likely to need total board replacement. The real question is, when are boards beyond repair. The answer is when you can no longer use a sander to remove the damage. Bad boards have deep cracks or multiple small cracks along the grain. Another indicator of a bad board is splintering of the wood. This is when the wood starts to chip away, creating a rough and weak surface. Warping also requires replacing. A warped board will never go back to being flat again. It causes a safety concern. And lastly, boards suffering from mold and mildew need to go. Mold and mildew decompose the wood, making it soft and unsafe.