I came across some "invisible" wood rot a few days ago and thought I'd show you how to spot it. This deteriorating deck railing looked good from a distance, but up close...
...you can see that there were divots and dents in the wood underneath the paint. It probably didn't look that way when it was installed!
Here are some more:
It still looks "okay" on the surface, but those cracks and sunken spots are a dead giveaway.
Look what happened when I squeezed the railing with my hand!
I just sank my fingernail into this one, and it crumbled away:
The trick is to pay attention to the shape of the wood underneath the paint. Look for sunken areas and cracks in the wood. Feel for soft spots.
This railing had gotten pretty bad. When I pulled off the top railing, I saw that the carpenter ants had already moved in, done their work, and then moved out again!
I took out all of the rotten stuff and replaced it with new treated lumber.
The repaired railing looks pretty much the same, but now it's not going to crumble away in your hand. We'll wait for the new treated wood to dry out, then paint it to match the rest of the deck.
This isn't the first railing we've replaced that was worse than it looked...
...and we love to do this kind of work, so if you suspect your railing has more damage than meets the eye, give us a call. We'll make it right!