deck builders st. louis

Common Missouri deck problems and how to fix them

Decks are wonderful additions to homes in Missouri, providing a space for outdoor relaxation and entertainment. However, the fluctuating weather conditions in the Show-Me State can take a toll on your deck over time, leading to various common problems that require attention. In this blog, we will explore some of the most prevalent deck problems encountered by Missouri homeowners and provide guidance on how to address them. While some issues may be suitable for DIY repairs, we strongly recommend consulting a professional for safety and structural concerns.

1. Deck Rot

Missouri’s humid climate can lead to deck rot, especially on wooden decks. Rot occurs when moisture infiltrates the wood, causing it to decay and weaken. To fix deck rot:

  • Identify affected areas by inspecting the wood for softness and discoloration.
  • Remove the damaged wood by cutting it out.
  • Replace the rotten boards with new, pressure-treated lumber.
  • Apply a wood preservative to prevent future rot.

2. Warping and cupping

Exposure to Missouri’s varying temperatures and humidity levels can cause deck boards to warp or cup over time. Warping is when boards bend along their length, while cupping is when the edges of the boards curl upward. To address warping and cupping:

  • Assess the affected boards and determine if they can be straightened or need replacement.
  • If the boards are salvageable, you may attempt to straighten them by applying weight evenly or using a board straightener tool.
  • If replacement is necessary, remove the warped or cupped boards and install new ones.

3. Cracked or split deck boards

Deck boards can develop cracks or splits due to exposure to the elements, including temperature fluctuations and moisture. To repair cracked or split deck boards:

  • Inspect the affected boards to determine the extent of the damage.
  • If the cracks or splits are minor, you may be able to fill them with wood filler or epoxy.
  • For more extensive damage, replace the damaged boards with new ones.

4. Loose or damaged railings

Deck railings are essential for safety, and loose or damaged railings should be addressed promptly. To fix loose or damaged railings:

  • Tighten the loose bolts and screws holding the railing in place.
  • Inspect the railings for rot or structural damage. If found, replace the damaged railing components.
  • Ensure that the railings meet local building codes and safety standards.

5. Mold and mildew growth

Missouri’s humid climate can promote mold and mildew growth on deck surfaces, creating a slippery and unsightly problem. To remove mold and mildew:

  • Mix a solution of water and mildew cleaner or a deck-cleaning solution.
  • Apply the solution to the affected areas using a scrub brush or pressure washer.
  • Scrub the surface thoroughly, and rinse it off with clean water.
  • To prevent future growth, consider applying a deck sealer or stain with mildew-resistant properties.

6. Insect Infestations

Wood-boring insects like termites and carpenter ants can damage the structural integrity of your deck. To address insect infestations:

  • Inspect the deck for signs of infestation, such as small holes or sawdust-like debris.
  • If infestation is suspected, consult with a pest control professional for a thorough inspection and treatment.
  • Address any structural damage caused by insects by replacing the affected wood components.

7. Fading and discoloration

Exposure to sunlight and weather can cause deck surfaces to fade and become discolored over time. To restore color and protect against further fading:

  • Clean the deck surface to remove dirt and debris.
  • Apply a quality deck stain or sealer to restore the deck’s appearance and protect it from UV rays.

8. Sinking or Uneven Deck

A sinking or uneven deck can pose safety hazards and may indicate a problem with the deck’s foundation or support system. To address sinking or uneven decks:

  • Consult a professional to assess the structural integrity of the deck.
  • If the issue is related to the foundation or support posts, follow the recommendations provided by the professional for repairs or reinforcement.

9. Deck Stair Issues

Deck stairs can become loose, wobbly, or damaged over time, posing a tripping hazard. To address deck stairs issues:

  • Inspect the stairs for loose or damaged components.
  • Tighten loose screws or bolts, and replace damaged treads or risers.
  • Ensure that handrails are secure and meet safety requirements.


Maintaining your deck in Missouri’s challenging climate is essential to ensuring its longevity and safety. While some minor deck problems can be addressed with DIY solutions, it’s crucial to consult a professional for structural issues or safety concerns. Regular inspections, preventive maintenance, and timely repairs will help you enjoy your deck’s beauty and functionality for years to come, no matter what weather Missouri throws your way.

Deck Repair St. Louis

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