Wood or plastic? Tips for rebuilding your outside deck

Plastic lumber is a popular choice for new decks, but a lot of people still want wood.

Of course, wooden decks can rot which can lead to safety problems. And despite what you think you can't always spot the rot.

Ricardo Arevalo is a deck expert with Simpson Strong-Tie.

"Some wood may look fine from the underside, but then you go up on top and it can be completely rotten out on top," says Arevalo.

"Where you are most likely to see rotting is down at the bottom of a post where it connects to the concert and obviously, that piece of wood is very close the ground and that ground cannot only be subject to moisture, but it can also be an easy path for termites," Arevalo adds.

Another common area for rot is at the top where water might get trapped between deck board and the joist.

Use a nail or screw driver to probe for rot. If that nail or screw driver goes into the heart of the wood easily, then it's rotten and the wood must be replaced

By the way, even with great maintenance, you can expect the average wood deck to last about 15 years before it needs a major overhaul.

More Information:

5 things to check to make sure your deck is safe