Can I Just Resurface My Deck with Trex Decking?
A warped and discolored deck is more than just an eyesore. It can be dangerous. Rotted wood, protruding nails and splintered boards can all contribute to accidents. At the very least, they can prevent you from enjoying a carefree, barefoot summer. However, the reality is that most homeowners are juggling a budget, trying to prioritize which home improvement project is most important. When it comes to decks, the option of resurfacing often arises instead of completely rebuilding. Resurfacing an existing structure with a high-quality, low maintenance alternative, like Trex decking is doable under the right circumstances. How do you know whether a resurface or a rebuild is right for you? Let’s compare both options.
Can I Resurface?
The biggest advantage to resurfacing is the cost savings. However, a resurface may not be possible if your deck’s substructure and framing has been compromised. It is not unusual for the top decking to receive the most wear and tear. It receives the brunt of the elements. If the walking surfaces of your deck are worn, but the foundation is still in good shape, you are a candidate for a resurface. You could simply replace the surfaces and deck railings for a completely new and appealing deck.
However, it is important to get an expert opinion. Have a professional inspect your substructure and foundation. Failing to do so could result in wasting thousands on a resurface only to have to rebuild again in a short period of time. Here are some of the areas that will be inspected.
- Footings. Determining if your structure is sound starts at the very bottom. Footings that are too shallow to start with often rise above grade when the deck warps over time. Warping often occurs with the drastic temperature changes experienced in Michigan.
- Wood Framing. Was your deck built with treated wood to start with? If so, it may still have years of life. If not, it is best to start over. However, whether your wood was treated or not, if it appears soft or can easily be penetrated with a screwdriver, it is best to start over. Your inspector will pay close attention to the wood posts and will probably dig down to inspect where the posts meet the footing.
- Structural Integrity. Your deck may appear sound. However, there are specific framing sizes and spans that must be followed to make the structure safe. This is one big reason most municipalities require homeowners to get a building permit before adding a deck. Especially if you inherited your deck and are unsure who originally installed it, you’ll want a professional to check its structural integrity.
Once you’ve determined if a resurface is right for you, here are some of the benefits you will enjoy.
- Speed. Resurfacing can often be done in a matter of days. You will be able to enjoy your new outdoor space in no time.
- Flexibility. It’s true that a resurface limits you to using the existing lines of the substructure. However, there is still much flexibility. Trex decking offers a variety of colors. Mix and contrast railings and walkways. Add a fire pit, hot tub, built-in seating, new planters or any number of creative ideas to create a space that looks completely different from the old one.
- Lower Costs. Resurfacing can literally save thousands. But, you’ll get the same beautiful finished product and curb-appeal.
When to Rebuild
If your professional inspection determines your substructure and framing have been compromised, you must rebuild. Rotted, soft or infected wood must be replaced to protect your investment and your safety. Even if the substructure is sound, many still decide to rebuild to ensure they get many years of use out of their Trex investment. Using Trex decking on the surfaces and railings will certainly give you years of low-maintenance enjoyment. However, your Trex investment will still be resting on wood that will need to be maintained. Otherwise, you’ll eventually end up with a rotten substructure. Even with proper maintenance, it’s inevitable that the Trex part of your deck will outlive the wooden structure. Starting over gives you the opportunity to build better from the foundation up. Trex decking isn’t susceptible to rot, mold, termites, carpenter ants or even the weather elements that decrease the lifespan of wood.
Another huge incentive to opt for a rebuild is the freedom to design the perfect space. Change the size or shape of your deck. Get creative with a unique design that includes curved decking. Add an outdoor fireplace or even a kitchen. Create a special place for the kids to play, complete with a kiddie pool and slide. The options are limitless when you are starting from scratch.
Why Use Trex Decking
Whether you decide resurfacing or rebuilding is the way to go, using Trex decking will brighten your home, increase its value and give you years low-maintenance enjoyment. Trex decking is both versatile and durable. The color sections allow homeowners to customize a look that is unique for their family.
The bottom line? Resurfacing is definitely an option. However, rebuilding is the only way to guarantee you’ll get decades of life out of your Trex deck investment. Talk to the experts at Woodcraft Design & Build to determine which is best for you. Our team has been transforming outdoor living spaces in Southwest Michigan for over 30 years. We understand what is needed to build a durable, long-lasting structure that is able to withstand the harsh climate in our area. Contact us for a free estimate.