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Why It’s Important to Repair Your Deck Before It Gets Worse

Decks take a beating from weather exposure, use, and natural aging. Regular maintenance and prompt fixes help extend their lifespans.


A deck is a great place to relax, grill with family and friends, or enjoy a beautiful sunset. However, your deck can suffer from wear and tear over time due to foot traffic and the weight of furniture and people. This can cause the wood to crack. Contact Mount Joy Company LLC for professional expertise.

While a small crack isn’t necessarily a big deal, it can allow water to seep into the wood and cause rot or insect infestations. Having your deck professionally inspected and repaired at least every two years ensures that these cracks don’t get worse.

Cracking is a normal part of the aging process for any type of lumber, but some woods are more prone to cracking than others. For example, softwoods like pressure treated pine and cedar can develop surface checking, which is a small crack that occurs on the outer surface of the board as it dries. It’s more common for hardwoods to crack through the center of the board.

Deck boards that are cracked through the center are often a sign of structural problems, so it’s important to have these repaired by a professional. To repair a cracked board, start by washing the area around it and then filling in the crack with wood filler that is graded for outdoor use. Be sure that the filler is spread evenly and reaches into the crack so it’s completely sealed.

If the board is rotting, it may need to be replaced entirely. This is a more complicated project that may require climbing on a ladder to inspect and replace the board. If you’re not comfortable with this type of work, it’s best to contact a Maryland decking company as they will be able to handle the job safely and effectively.

To help prevent cracking in the future, wash your deck and apply a wood sealer or stain to keep the wood protected from moisture and temperature changes. A sealer or stain also acts as a barrier against rot and insects.


If you notice any rot in your deck, it is essential to repair it immediately before the problem spreads. This can lead to structural damage and attract wood-eating pests such as termites, which will cause even more damage.

Dry rot is caused by fungi that break down cellulose and hemicellulose, which is the material that gives wood its strength and stiffness. As the fungi degrade these materials, wood becomes weak and eventually brittle. This is a serious issue, especially for the structural beams and joists of your deck.

To check for rot, look for long sheets of grayish mold on the surface of the wood or in cracks and crevices. The area may also be soft to the touch or feel spongy. If you notice these symptoms, the best test is to take a screwdriver and press it into the area – if it sinks in, it’s likely dry rot.

Wet rot is often easier to diagnose than dry rot because it’s typically confined to an isolated area of the board. Depending on the extent of the rot, you may need to replace the board. A professional will determine if this is necessary, but it’s typically more cost effective to simply sand down the board, stain or seal it, and then apply a water-resistant preservative.

Both wet and dry rot are caused by moisture, so it’s important to address any water sources that may be contributing to your deck’s deterioration. This could include a plumbing leak, gutter failure, sprinkler system issue or other areas where water is pooling on your deck.

Another way to help prevent rot is by using a pressure-treated wood that has a high level of preservatives. It’s also helpful to monitor your deck for signs of rot and perform regular cleaning and maintenance to reduce the likelihood that it will develop. If your deck does experience rot, it is important to contact a professional for assistance to ensure that the repairs are done correctly. This can ensure the safety and integrity of your deck for years to come.


Mold and mildew are unsightly, but more importantly they can create health hazards. Significant exposure to mold spores can cause a variety of breathing problems for people with asthma and other sensitivities. The fungi can also damage the deck surface and infiltrate stains and sealers, making it harder to restore.

If you notice a significant amount of mold or mildew growing on your deck, the best course of action is to clean it as soon as possible. A power washer is a great tool for the job, but it’s important to use it carefully to avoid damage to the wood. Dixon Pressure Washing recommends targeting the moldy areas, and using a spraying technique that allows you to control the flow of water. This way, you can prevent the water from hitting unaffected areas and causing damage.

It’s also a good idea to use a cleaning solution designed specifically for composite decks. These solutions will not only kill the mold, but will help to prevent it from returning in the future. If you’d rather not use a commercial product, a simple mix of vinegar and baking soda will do the trick. After pouring the mix directly on the moldy area, sprinkle baking soda and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. After that, scrub with a brush and rinse.

Another common problem for decks is dry rot, which can destroy the structural integrity of the support beams and joists. It can be caused by shaded areas that never dry or by leaking pipes, roofs, or gutters. Unlike mold and mildew, dry rot isn’t a surface issue, but instead affects the interior of the wood, leaving it warped and brittle.

The best way to spot dry rot is by looking for a spongy texture and a musty odor. If you notice these symptoms, it’s vital to contact a professional for repair as soon as possible. If the rot is severe, it may be necessary to replace entire boards.


Nothing spoils the look of nice timber decking like slimy green algae growth. It not only makes the deck look dirty and neglected, but also slippery. In addition, it can stain and damage the wood. While a deck covered in algae may be tempting to simply lather on a coat of paint for a clean appearance, it’s not a good idea. Painting over algae will only cover up the discoloration and make it harder to see, but it won’t kill off the spores that are responsible for the problem. If you do decide to paint, a bleach or fungicide should be used to ensure all visible spores are killed off before starting a new application of stain.

Aside from the fact that algae, fungus and moss are unsightly, they can also harm wood and contribute to rot. Moisture is the enemy of wood and, over time, can cause it to swell, crack, warp and rot. Algae, fungus and moss promote moisture buildup on wood and create conditions that are ideal for the development of these organisms.

If left untreated, a single spot of algae can spread and cover the entire surface of a wooden deck. To avoid this, a regular cleaning schedule should be adhered to. This includes removing all furniture and fixtures from the deck, sweeping and spraying with a pressure washer to remove debris and dirt that can facilitate the growth of these organisms. A high-quality deck cleaner should be utilized, as well as a scrub brush to get the job done.

Aside from removing leaves, pine needles and clumps of grass and dirt, a deck should be thoroughly rinsed with the garden hose after being cleaned to prevent water buildup or puddles that can be the perfect environment for the development of algae and other fungus and plant growth. Once the deck is completely dry, it should be swept again with a broom and the furniture and fixtures can be returned to their original locations. Regular cleaning will help to preserve the wood, extend its lifespan and reduce the need for costly repairs down the road.