How to Save Rotting Decking

Your deck is more than just an outdoor extension of your home; it’s a place where memories are made, from sunny afternoon barbecues to evening gatherings under the stars. However, the integrity of your deck can be compromised by rot. Knowing how to save rotting decking is essential for maintaining your deck’s safety, appearance, and longevity. 

Signs of Rotting Deck Boards

The early signs of deck rot are not always immediately noticeable, but catching them early is key to saving rotting decking. Look out for:

  • Discoloration: Dark spots or areas where the wood looks damp. This discoloration can often be mistaken for simple water stains or shadows, but upon closer inspection, you might notice that these areas retain moisture for longer periods than the rest of the deck, indicating a deeper issue.
  • Softness: Areas that feel spongy or yield easily under pressure are a sure sign of rot. This softness is more than just a worn surface; it indicates that the wood fibers beneath the surface have begun to break down and decompose, compromising the structural integrity of your deck.
  • Splintering Wood: As wood begins to decay, it may splinter easily, even without significant pressure. This splintering is not just a cosmetic issue but a sign that the wood’s natural resilience is fading. Splinters may appear more frequently and be larger than typical wear would produce, suggesting that the wood is losing its strength and density.

Understanding these signs and taking prompt action can prevent minor issues from escalating into costly repairs, ensuring that your deck remains a safe and enjoyable space for years to come.

Common Areas Where Rot Occurs

Rot typically finds its home in areas that trap moisture or are continuously damp. These include:

  • Joists and Support Beams: The structural supports of your deck are crucial areas to check regularly.
  • Deck Boards: Especially in shaded areas where sunlight does not fully reach to dry after rain.
  • Near Fasteners and Connectors: Where water can seep in and get trapped, causing both wood and metal to deteriorate.

Identifying the Extent of the Damage

A thorough inspection will help you understand whether you’re looking at surface-level damage or a more extensive issue that compromises your deck’s structural integrity. Pay special attention to the areas mentioned above, using tools like a screwdriver to test for softness. If you’re uncertain about the extent of the damage, consulting a professional can give you a clearer picture and peace of mind.

How to Save Rotting Decking

For decks where the damage is not yet extensive, replacing rotting boards is a good first step. To do so will require you to:

  • Remove the damaged boards carefully to avoid further damage to the surrounding area.
  • Inspect and treat the underlying structure to ensure it hasn’t been compromised.
  • Identify and remedy the moisture source before replacing the boards to prevent future rot.

While taking the DIY route may seem like a cost-effective solution, it’s important to consider the benefits of professional assessment and repair. A professional can offer a comprehensive evaluation of not just the visible damage but also the potential hidden issues that might not be immediately apparent to the untrained eye. They bring expertise in identifying the root causes of moisture problems and can recommend more effective, long-lasting solutions. Additionally, professionals have access to high-quality materials and tools, ensuring that any repairs are done correctly and to code, which is especially important for maintaining the safety and value of your home.

Consider Upgrading to Water-Resistant Composite Decking

If your deck is frequently battling against rot, or if you’re looking for an option that requires less maintenance, upgrading to composite decking might be the best solution. TimberTech brand decking materials offer superior water resistance compared to traditional wood decking. TimberTech decks not only resist rot but also maintain their beauty and integrity for years to come, making them an excellent investment for any homeowner. 

Get a Free Estimate on a Deck Repair or Replacement from Manor

Maintaining your deck and knowing how to save rotting decking is crucial for extending its life and ensuring it remains a safe, enjoyable place for your family and friends. By staying vigilant for signs of rot, addressing issues promptly, and considering long-term solutions like upgrading to TimberTech composite decking, you can protect your outdoor living space against the elements. If you’re facing deck rot or considering an upgrade, contact Manor for an estimate. Our expertise in decking repair and replacement, combined with our commitment to quality materials like TimberTech, ensures your deck will be a cherished part of your home for years to come.

The Best Types Of Deck Material For Missouri Weather

Building an outdoor deck in Missouri means being conscious of the weather during all four seasons. From humid summers to icy winters, the deck material you choose must withstand various weather conditions for years and years. Get to know the different types of deck material options, so you can make an informed decision for a long-lasting, beautiful deck.

Traditional Wood: A Timeless Choice

The charm and classic look of a traditional wood deck is undeniable. They offer a natural look and feel that many homeowners appreciate. However, not all woods are created equal.


Hardwoods offer strength and durability. These include exotic woods like Ipe, Mahogany, and Tigerwood. Some tropical hardwoods can last about 25 years when cared for properly. Their dense nature makes them durable, but they’re also more expensive than other wood options. If your deck sees a lot of sun, consider opting for a lighter wood because darker colored hardwoods can get fairly hot in the summer sun. 

Premium Softwoods

Cedar and Redwood are popular softwood choices that can last around 20 years. They are naturally resistant to rot and pests but are softer and can be easily damaged. Softwoods require regular maintenance to retain their color and integrity. If your deck sits in the sun most of the day, the natural color may fade, so giving your softwood deck a good power-wash, sanding, and refinishing every 3-5 years will keep it looking great. Softwoods also benefit from applying a water-repellant preservative to prevent splintering. 

Pressure-Treated Wood: Enhanced Durability

When considering the best types of deck materials, pressure-treated wood is a popular choice for those seeking a balance between cost and durability. Typically made from pine, the wood undergoes a pressure treatment process that enhances its resistance to rot, insects, and moisture. However, while it’s more resistant than untreated wood, it still requires regular maintenance to prevent warping, cracking, and other wear. Pressure-treated wood typically comes at a lower price point, but it also tends to cost more in repairs and maintenance over time compared to hardwoods. 

Composite Decking: Low Maintenance, High Performance

For homeowners seeking a low-maintenance yet stylish option, composite decking is worth considering. Made from a blend of recycled plastic and wood fibers, composite decks offer the aesthetics of wood without the intensive upkeep. They resist warping, fading, and staining caused by harsh Missouri weather, making them an excellent choice for those who prefer minimal maintenance.

Making the Right Choice for Missouri’s Climate

Missouri’s diverse climate poses unique challenges for outdoor decks. The types of deck material that work best in Missouri must endure hot summers, rainy springs, cold winters, and humidity year-round. 

Deck Materials to Avoid in Missouri

In the diverse climate of Missouri, certain deck materials can end up costing you a lot in maintenance and repairs. Untreated softwoods, while budget-friendly, are particularly vulnerable to the state’s humid summers and wet springs. They can easily absorb moisture, leading to rot, mold, and a shortened lifespan. Additionally, non-marine grade metals can be problematic. Missouri’s weather fluctuations can cause these metals to expand and contract, leading to structural issues. Metals can also corrode quickly if not adequately treated.

Another material to approach with caution is low-quality composite decking. While composite decks are generally durable, not all are created equal. Cheaper versions might not be fully capped or could lack UV protection, causing them to fade, stain, or even warp over time. It’s essential to invest in high-quality composites that offer full protection against the elements to ensure longevity.

Get High-Quality Deck Materials for Missouri Weather from Manor

Choosing the right types of deck material is crucial for longevity and aesthetics. By understanding the demands of Missouri’s climate and choosing materials wisely, homeowners can ensure their decks remain beautiful and functional for many years. Whether you’re building a new deck or renovating an old one, understanding the pros and cons of each material can guide you to the best choice for your Missouri home. With the right care and choice, your deck can be a beautiful, durable space to enjoy for years to come. Ready for a new deck or to upgrade your old one? Manor can help. At Manor, we’ve researched, tested, and worked with manufacturer reps and product developers to offer you the perfect combination of decking, railing, lighting, and stone enhancements to meet your design needs and budget.

Building a Deck For All Seasons

Adding a deck to your home is an excellent way to extend your living space and create a fun and functional place to entertain, relax, and enjoy the outdoors. Even though Mid-Missouri weather brings us all four seasons, it is possible to build a deck that you can enjoy year-round. Here are some of the most important things to consider when building a deck for all seasons. 

Use The Right Materials

One of the most important components of building a deck that you can use during all seasons is choosing the right materials. 

Composite Decking

Composite decking is one of the best materials you can use when building a deck for all seasons. It is very low maintenance, and you won’t need to worry about wood rotting, splintering, or becoming damaged from blizzard conditions or the scorching sun. And as an added bonus, composite decking comes in a variety of colors, so you can build a deck that blends in seamlessly with your home’s existing style and aesthetic. 

Wood Decking

Mid-Missouri tends to have some harsh winter conditions that can bring heavy snow and ice. When snow melts, it can form ice dams which may damage some types of wood. Winter weather can be quite harsh on wood decking, so if you plan on building a deck from all wood, be sure to use high-quality materials that have been treated properly. 

Add a Covering

Adding a roof when building a deck is one of the best ways to enjoy this type of outdoor living space during any season. It will provide shade from the hot summer sun or shelter from a spring drizzle, allowing you to get more use out of this area. It also gives you the ability to add other important features to help you enjoy your deck throughout the year, like lights, ceiling fans, heat sources, and more. 

Choose the Right Location

Sometimes it’s obvious where a deck should go, but other times there may be more than one option. How you want your deck to function will determine which place is best for it, especially if you want to use it for all seasons. You may want to place your deck in a more shaded location for optimal comfort in the summer, or perhaps you want to enjoy your deck in the fall, so facing it in the direction of the sun might be best. You may also want to determine how the wind patterns on your property may affect how enjoyable it is to use your deck or how much privacy you’ll have in any given location. 

Install a Ceiling Fan

If you do install a roof for your deck, you now have the ability to add a ceiling fan or two. This will help keep air circulation on days when there seems to be no breeze, but you want to enjoy your deck. A ceiling fan can also help keep mosquitoes away. By maintaining a decent breeze under your deck covering, they are less likely to hang around. 

Add Deck Lighting

If you plan to use your deck often in the fall when the sun goes down earlier than in the summer, having lighting on your deck can make a huge difference. When building a deck, plan for the type of lighting fixtures you wish to use. You can opt for wired lighting or solar, depending on your needs and wants. Either way, you will be glad to have a light source to make your deck more enjoyable and safer to use when the sun has set. 

Leave Room for a Heat Source

If you plan to use your deck in the chilly months, be sure to plan on building a deck that allows room for a heat source. Some people may choose a slim patio heater that runs off propane, but others may love the idea of building a fire in a fire pit. If you plan to have a fire pit on your deck, be sure that you have space for it and that the fire pit you choose won’t damage the decking material underneath it.

Plan for Heavy Objects

One of the most inviting additions to a deck is a hot tub. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a nice hot soak while the snow gently falls around you. However, if you want to have a hot tub on your deck, you will need to have the right substructure to create a deck strong enough to hold such a heavy object. All of that water can get quite heavy and create an environment that is unsafe. 

Consult with Professionals 

Interested in building a deck that you can enjoy all year? From custom decks and enclosed patio rooms to gazebos and pergolas, our experienced deck builders and outdoor living craftsmen are ready to transform your backyard into a relaxing oasis. At Manor, we’ve researched, tested, and worked with manufacturer reps and product developers to offer you the perfect combination of decking, railing, lighting, and stone enhancements to meet your design needs and budget. Get a free estimate from the professionals at Manor.