A wooden deck can last up to 20 years or more if properly maintained. To maintain it, you need to do regular checking, cleaning, coating, and replacing any weakening materials, especially on the railings.
The railings on your decks are more prone to deterioration. No matter how careful or protective you are of your place, natural elements like sun, wind, rain, and bugs can cause the degradation of your railings. The only thing you can do is ensure it is sturdy and safe enough to keep your property guarded all-year-round.
When is the right time to replace your railings? Here are the top three things you should check.
1. It’s getting unstable
A deck railing is supposed to act as the guard rail to prevent people or pets from falling off properties’ decks, stairs, and balconies. If it is no longer sturdy enough to perform its duty, it is time for a fix or a replacement.
When your deck starts to become shaky, it’s a sign that its fasteners start to loosen. You can seek professional help from contractors in assessing if you can still save your current railings or whether you need to get the whole railing replaced.
2. Your wooden base gets deformed
You need to be more observant and careful if your railing is made of wood. Although wood is a good material, it is always susceptible to rotting and warping. No matter how much you take care of your wooden deck, there’s always a time it’ll get wet or be exposed in situations that can weaken its structure.
When checking your wooden railing, look for signs in the base first. If the base starts to look distorted or if you’ve observed some discoloration, softness, or splinters at the bottom of your railing posts, maybe it’s time to have it replaced. Warped woods usually get moulds over time and these moulds can lead to faster deterioration.
3. Connections become rusty
The next thing you check is the screws and nails that connect your railings. If you see them starting to get rusty or you see a white powdery substance surrounding them, it’s a sign to replace the metal hardware in your railing.
When your nails and screws get rusty, it means that they have been exposed to the atmosphere or harmful chemicals for a long time. There are instances where these can be fixed, but if you’ve discovered them at their worst stage, they need to get replaced immediately.
Checking of your deck’s railing system should be observed regularly, especially after any major storm. It will ensure your deck’s safety and allow you to see the early signs if you need to replace the railings of your deck.
Knowing the cause behind a possible replacement helps you understand your next steps and helps you identify what you should avoid next time. Once the need for a replacement is confirmed, act on it as soon as you can. It is always better to be safe than have safety issues at your home.