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Why Does My Deck Have Cracks? And What is the Best Way to Fix It?

Posted on June 7, 2019

San Antonio Deck Repair

Cracks in your San Antonio deck? Time for deck repairs.

Summer is here again and you've probably started getting your deck ready for entertaining. But what happens when you step outside to get the deck ready and you notice hairline cracks appearing on the surface of your deck? These may be subtle, but they're not exactly sightly, and over time they can only grow. What causes them? What can you do to fix them? And what, if anything, can be done to avoid these cracks in the first place? Let's discuss it all in today's blog.

What Causes Deck Cracks

Cracks occur sometimes with wooden decks as a natural consequence of longtime exposure to the elements. Your deck has to live through storms, heavy winds, humidity, and changing temperatures. Wood, in particular, can be problematic when wet. It soaks up moisture and swells, then shrinks back to its normal size when dry. This can cause stress cracks in the same way that gaining and losing weight can cause stretch marks.

 However, the fact that this is natural does not make it less serious. It wears out your deck, and in time, it can not only look worn but weaken the surface. This could be dangerous for your family and friends. It's also sure to make you lose some of the value you would gain from having a backyard deck. And when not protected, the wood of your deck could even begin to rot. So the next question becomes what to do about it.

Deck Repairs for Cracks

Fortunately, repairing cracks in your deck is not a difficult process. There are a few options. You could simply unscrew the boards and turn them upside down, if the cracks aren't deep. The bottom surface of the deck boards may be in better shape than the top surface. However, this isn't always the case. Another option is to use polyurethane deck caulking to fill the cracks and seal them, particularly caulking that matches the color of your deck. Waterproof resin glue may be able to bond the cracks, as well, thus strengthening the deck. Finally, you can apply a deck seal that will help to protect it from the elements in the future.

How to Avoid Deck Cracks

Of course, ideally, you want to avoid deck cracks altogether. This is hard to do with wood decks, though exotic hardwoods tend to be more weather resistant and may hold up better than standard wood boards. You may also consider composite decking, which offers the look of wood but resists soaking up moisture, making them lower maintenance. If you do choose authentic wood for your deck, make sure to stain and seal the deck regularly to protect it from taking in moisture.

Have any more questions about deck repairs or how to build a more durable deck? Contact Paradise Decks & Spas today for more information.

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