Fixing Common Problems With Deck Repair

Stains and blemishes from everyday use are minor issues that can be repaired with a touch-up. However, structural problems like sagging or rotting may require replacement instead of repair.


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When a deck board becomes warped it can become an eyesore for you and your guests. It can also be dangerous to walk on, as it is not sturdy and could fall. Fortunately, there are a few ways to fix this issue.

One way is to try to straighten out the board by clamping it. This can be easier to do if the board is bowed, rather than cupping or twisting. If the boards are cupping or twisting, they will likely need to be replaced.

Another option is to use a saw to cut off the damaged section of the board. You will need to put on eye protection before doing this, and make sure that you are using a good quality saw with a coarse wood-cutting blade. Once you have removed the board, inspect and replace any rotted parts of the joist it was connected to. If needed, treat and protect the exposed joists with a preservative.

You can also try to reshape the warped board by adding moisture back into it. To do this, add water to the board until it is drenched and then leave it sitting in that position for about 15 minutes. The moisture will help the board to rehydrate and become pliable. Once it has rehydrated, you can use a clamp and something rigid like pipes to fix the board in place and straighten out the bends. After the board has been reshaped, let it dry in a well-ventilated area and out of direct sunlight.

If the damage to the board is extensive, you may need to pull up the whole composite deck and replace it with a new piece. This method can be quicker and more cost effective, but it does run the risk of mismatched boards if you do not have leftover material from the original installation.

The best way to prevent this problem is to use high quality wood when installing your deck and a sealant to protect it from the elements. The denser the wood, the less likely it is to warp, so it is often recommended that cedar boards be used.

Loose Railings

A loose deck railing can create a serious safety hazard. Not only can it be hazardous for your friends and family, but it also points to underlying structural issues. Fortunately, there are several ways to fix loose railings on your deck and keep them stable.

Start by inspecting the area of your deck that has a loose railing. Look for cracks, rusty hardware, and loose or rotting wood. If any of these things are present, you need to make some serious repairs.

One common cause of a loose deck railing is that the screws or nails used to hold it in place are coming out. While this may be due to weather or wear and tear, it can be a sign of shoddy installation work. If this is the case, you should call Mid-Atlantic Deck & Fence to have the work done correctly.

You can also check the railing posts to make sure they are tightly attached to their mounting brackets. If they are not, you need to tighten the mounting brackets to prevent the railing from moving. In addition, you can install blocking on the rim joists (the joists that are the outermost of the deck framing) in a zig-zag pattern to keep them stiff and not loosen over time.

If your railings are still loose, you can use metal brackets to reinforce them. Adding these will keep the rails from becoming loose again and help your deck remain safe for everyone.

Another way to prevent loose railings is to add skirts to your post bases. These are designed to shield the base of your posts from dirt, water, and sunlight. They are often made of wood, but you can also get them in metal or plastic versions. This is an easy project to do yourself and will help your deck last longer. In fact, adding these is a good idea for all of your deck posts. Check out our Guide to Deck Framing and our Glossary of Deck Terms and Lingo for more information on the different parts of a deck.


Corrosion is a natural process that occurs when metals react with their environment to form unwanted compounds, such as oxides and hydroxides. These compounds reduce the strength, durability, and appearance of metal components. They also deteriorate the structures they support, accelerating their rate of wear and increasing their vulnerability to catastrophic failures. While many metals corrode, only copper and some precious metals are naturally corrosion-resistant. Most metals, including iron, are susceptible to degradation as they undergo the chemical reactions that cause corrosion.

The corrosion of metal is complex, and can be divided into three stages. The first stage is white rust, which forms as a powdery deposit on the surface of galvanized steel and usually causes no structural damage. The second stage is thinning and brittle oxidation, which can weaken the structural integrity of the metal. The third and most serious stage of oxidation is pitting, which forms an irregular hole in the metal and can compromise the integrity of the structure.

To prevent deterioration, it’s important to keep your deck clean and maintain the proper water balance. In addition, metal components should be protected with protective coatings and regularly inspected and repaired. The best protection against corrosion comes from the galvanizing process, which coats metals like steel with a layer of zinc that serves as a physical barrier and provides cathodic protection.

Other corrosion-resistant methods include coating the metal with enamel or applying a protective paint. These treatments can also be effective, although they must be carefully applied and properly maintained to be successful.

If you notice rust on a metal fastener, it’s important to take action before the problem escalates. For example, you should get beneath your deck and check the joist hangers for looseness and rust. Ensure that all pre-punched holes in the hangers are fully filled with an adequate gauge and length of galvanized nail, and replace any nails that show signs of rust or deterioration.

You should also inspect the connections where rail sections attach to deck posts. Loose or corroded rail bolts can lead to structural problems and safety hazards.

Loss of Color

Whether your deck is wood or composite, it will eventually lose color. This can be due to a number of reasons, including fading from sunlight, weathering from the elements and even the natural aging process. A loss of color can cause your deck to look dull or even unattractive. If the problem is limited to a small area, it may be possible for a repair or touch up to solve the issue. However, if the damage is widespread, it could be time to replace the deck entirely.

If your deck is covered by a layer of peeling paint, you can probably sand the affected areas and repaint them yourself. Be sure to do this on a day when humidity levels are low and the wood is dry. It is important to remove the loose paint before proceeding to ensure that any new stain will adhere properly. If your deck is in overall good condition, a simple staining job might be enough to bring it back to life.

A damaged and worn deck is not only unsightly but can be dangerous. Loose boards, railings and posts can easily fall and lead to injury or property damage. It is also a good idea to regularly inspect your deck for signs of rot or other problems.

Regularly applying a deck stain is an essential step in maintaining your deck. This will help to protect it from moisture, which can be a major cause of wood rot and other issues. If you haven’t been doing this on a regular basis, it is important to start now.

Insect infestations can be another serious concern for decks. It is crucial to address any termite or carpenter ant damage as soon as you notice it. This will likely require pest treatment from an exterminator, which can be quite costly.

Mold and algae are two other common problems that can affect your deck. These fungi are unsightly and can create slippery conditions on your deck, making it unsafe to walk on. If the spores are able to find the right moist environment, they will grow quickly and can discolor your deck boards.