Rotting Wood Deck? Here’s What To Do

Rotted Decking Can Be a Nightmare. Here’s How MBC Remodeling Can Help

Your deck is the perfect backyard oasis when summer comes around. You can enjoy meals in the fresh air or under the stars. You can fill your deck with friends and family. But your deck is also exposed to the elements year-round, even when you’re not using it. That could be trouble for you when you return to the deck in the summer to find the boards are rotting. This is especially problematic when it comes to wood decks. Fortunately, a remodeling contractor like MBC Remodeling has expertise in wood decks and what to do if they’re rotting.


rotting wood deck in the sunlight


What Causes Rotting Wood Decks?

Wood is one of the most classic building materials, especially when it comes to decks. But wood is also one of the most permeable building materials. It takes in water easily, which can cause it to swell and warp and, over time and in humid conditions, rot. Wood stain can help to protect the wood from taking in much water, but it will need to be stained regularly in order to continue to hold up season after season. A few causes of rotting wood decks include:

  • Standing water, especially from a pool
  • Untreated wood
  • Termites
  • Severe weather


What To Do About a Rotting Wood Deck

Rotting wood decks can be repaired, though depending on the extent of the rot, it may be more expensive to repair than to replace. First, you have to identify all the places where there is rot in your deck. If you notice parts of the deck that look discolored or feel soft to the touch, that’s probably where you’ll find rot. Check your deck posts and guard rails, as well. Any rotting boards will need to be removed and replaced. From there, you can replace the missing materials with new wood and treat the entire deck to protect it from rot in the future.


When Should You Replace Your Rotting Wood Deck?

A deck that’s become too rotten is not only unsightly but a danger for you and anyone who uses your deck. The more rotten the wood becomes, the weaker it becomes, until it eventually crumbles and collapses. Rot also tends to spread, so if your wooden deck abuts something that can also take in rot, it could cause damage for the rest of your home. If you catch the problem early and isolate it, go ahead and replace the damaged boards, and you should be fine. If, however, there are more damaged boards than good boards, or if the damaged boards have become so damaged that they’re near the point of crumbling, you should go ahead and replace the deck.


How To Keep a Wood Deck From Rotting

There’s some risk when it comes to any wood deck that eventually it will rot, especially left to the elements year-round. But you can at least help to minimize the risk of rotting when it comes to your wood deck. You can do this by sealing your deck every year with a seal designed for wood exposed to the outdoors. You can also cover your deck with a tarp or other protective covering in winter when you no longer use it. Clean your deck regularly when not covered, so that damp leaves and other debris don’t remain on the surface and standing water isn’t left to pool on the wood.

You may also consider other options for decking besides standard wood. A more durable, weather-resistant form of decking will be less likely to rot so that you can enjoy it for longer.


Does Pressure-Treated Wood Rot?

Pressure-treated wood is wood that has been sealed in a tank until all air is extracted, and in the vacuum left behind, chemicals are added to preserve the wood. This is known to be more durable than standard wood decking, but it is still possible for pressure-treated wood to rot, usually due to a fungal issue. Rotten pressure treated wood can split and worsen, so it still needs to be treated once a year in order to be protected from rot.


Does Trex Composite Decking Rot?

On the other hand, Trex is not wood decking — at least, not wood alone. It is composite decking made up of reclaimed wood, sawdust, and plastic. It has the look and feel of real wood, but it is specifically engineered in order to withstand the elements and hold up your deck for longer. Trex resists rotting, swelling, warping, and other issues that can come about with wood decking. You also don’t have to worry about finishing when it comes to Trex. It arrives with a fresh, finished look. You will still need to clean your deck occasionally to keep debris away, as this can still scratch the surface.

While some homeowners are attached to the authentic look and feel of wood for their deck, more and more are turning towards composite decking for durability along with the look of real wood. Take a look at our decking portfolio to see our wood decking, composite decking, and even concrete decking options for yourself. We do truly custom deck installations, and we can help you find the right choice for you. Contact MBC Remodeling today to learn more or to get started with a free consultation.

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