How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Deck?

Typical Range:

$797 - $3,172

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 12,423 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated June 28, 2022

Reviewed by Robert Tschudi, Expert Home Building and Remodeling Contributor.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Deck repair costs an average of $1,981, with most homeowners spending between $797 and $3,172. However, the total cost depends on the building materials you use, the extent of the damage, and your location. Although repairs are often expensive, they're typically more affordable than a full deck replacement, which can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $11,000.

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National Average $1,981
Typical Range $797 - $3,172
Low End - High End $250 - $7,000

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 12,423 HomeAdvisor members.

Deck Repair Cost Factors

Deck repair costs heavily depend on labor costs in your area, as well as your deck's size and materials. 

Size

Since lumber and lumber treatments, like staining and painting, are typically priced by square or linear foot, the size of your repair will affect the cost.

Materials

The price of decking material depends on the type. For instance, cedar decking typically costs $3 to $7 per square foot, while ipe hardwood costs $10 to $20 per square foot

Labor

Labor costs vary by location, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $500 for deck repair labor. It's also helpful to keep in mind that other issues may become apparent during the repair that you want or need to fix, so it's a good idea to budget a little extra for unforeseen repairs. 

Deck Repair Cost by Damage

Certain types of damage cost more to repair than others. For example, repairing a deck railing ranges from $500 to $4,000 depending on the railing type, while anchoring deck stairs usually costs $100 to $300

Railing Repairs

You can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $4,000 for railing repairs. The cost for this project varies significantly depending on whether you have a simple or ornate railing. It also depends on whether the rail alone needs replacing, or if a replacement trim rail, post end cap, or baluster is also required.

Stair Anchors

If your deck stairs are loose but structurally sound and made of healthy wood, a professional can simply anchor any loose steps for around $100 to $300, depending on the number of stairs. Your contractor will add screws to the beams or install metal brackets to make your deck safer.

Mold and Rot Repairs

On average, the cost to repair rotting wood ranges from $200 to $500, including parts and labor. In addition to removing and repairing areas with dry rot, your professional will investigate the root cause of the problem, including drainage and plumbing issues. This could drive up the total repair price for the project.

If the area damaged by dry rot is not weight-bearing, you can often repair it yourself by trimming away the damaged wood and filling it in with a two-part epoxy compound that hardens in place and can be sanded smooth. These epoxy compounds sell for about $35 to $70 per quart or $100 to $200 per gallon

Mildew Repairs

Mold and mildew can build up on decks over time, but power washing is often an effective removal method. The average cost of a professional pressure washing ranges from $0.25 to $1.50 per square foot, or $80 to $480 for a 16-by-20-foot deck. Your contractor might also charge a cleaning fee of $100 to $200.

If you have experience, you can often do this yourself. Expect to pay $40 to $75 per day to rent a power washer, plus $10 to $30 for cleaning supplies. However, make sure you feel comfortable with this project; incorrect power washing can ruin your deck’s appearance and potentially cause further damage. That’s why it’s always best to hire a pro, even if you have some experience.

Pest Control Services

Sometimes, pros find additional issues when inspecting for repairs, such as pest problems. If they find insects, like termites, you might need to hire a local pest control company to check the deck and surrounding areas before proceeding with your repair project. On average, it costs between $65 and $100 for a pest control company to perform an inspection and write a report.

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Deck Board Repair and Replacement Costs

If you're replacing one or more broken boards, the size and type will affect your cost. Boards around the damaged board may also require replacements, and if the board is expensive or hard to find, this may increase your expense.

Cedar Boards

The average material cost for cedar is $3 to $7 per square foot. These decks generally last for 15 to 20 years, but they can deteriorate faster, particularly on the ground floor and in shaded areas that take longer to dry out.

Cedar decking is a great choice for people located in extreme climates because the wood continues to produce its own oils years after being processed into lumber, which keeps it in good shape. In addition, the oils help maintain that appealing cedar smell.

Treated Lumber

The cost for treated lumber ranges from $8 to $20 per square foot, for an estimated total replacement cost of $2,560 to $6,400 for a 16-by-20-foot deck. However, not all treated lumber is created equal. Inexpensive treated wood often retains moisture, causing it to shrink and twist when it dries. More expensive options are often kiln-dried before and after pressure treatment, making them less likely to warp. When properly maintained, this type of deck should last for 20 to 30 years.

Redwood Boards

The cost of redwood boards ranges from $5 to 30 per square foot. Redwood has distinctive broad grain patterns that add visual appeal and ensure that every redwood deck is unique. Redwood is fairly easy to maintain and can last 15 to 30 years with proper maintenance.

Ipe Hardwood

Ipe hardwood offers one of the longest life spans compared to other decking materials, with an estimated longevity of 30 to 50 years. However, it's also more expensive, usually costing $10 to $20 or more per square foot.

Mahogany Boards

Mahogany decks are popular for their beautiful appearance and durability. Many mahogany decks can last 40 to 50 years or more, depending on the climate. Replacement mahogany boards usually cost between $8 and $11 per square foot.

Composite Wood

Composite wood can consist of many materials. Some composite wood boards comprise wood mixed with plastic, while others are made entirely of plastic or plastic wrapped around wood. These boards usually cost $12 to $22 per square foot. Composite decking usually lasts 15 to 30 years, but it requires significant maintenance, such as regular cleaning, staining, and repairing any damage the deck sustains.

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Common Deck Problems and Costs

It's helpful to be aware of common deck problems so that you can address them before they lead to more costly repairs. Common issues include: 

  • Instability: If the boards are unstable, one or more might need replacing. Replacing boards costs between $500 and $4,000, depending on the materials and local labor costs. Some companies charge a minimum of $1,000 for carpentry repairs, so make sure to get quotes to properly budget for the repair.

  • Rotten wood: If the wood is rotten to the point that it needs replacing, expect to pay between $500 and $1,000, depending on the type of wood and local labor rates.

  • Cupping or curling: With wood decking, boards can cup or curl in the direction of the rings. These cups can hold water and lead to early deterioration. The cost to fix this issue usually ranges from $500 to $1,000. However, most professional contractors will install cupping facing down to minimize water damage. High-end deck installers will even add stress reduction cuts to help them lay flat to prevent this issue.

Deck Demolition Costs

It typically costs $5 to $15 per square foot to demolish and remove an existing deck. This price includes tearing up the old deck surface; removing the brackets, pilings, and foundations; hauling it all away; and local disposal fees. 

The cost to build a new deck after demolition usually ranges from $4,100 to $11,400, depending on your deck's size, design, materials, and location. 

DIY vs. Hiring a Decking Company 

Many homeowners can perform basic deck repairs themselves, like securing a loose board or restaining the deck's surface. However, more extensive damage usually requires professional expertise to avoid more costly repairs down the road. 

Labor Costs

Expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $500 for labor, depending on your location and the deck's damage. Sometimes professionals encounter other problems during the repair, such as termites or wood rot, which can further increase labor costs. 

Taking Care of Your Deck

Regular deck maintenance, like staining, sealing, and cleaning, can help prolong your deck's life and keep it looking great for years to come. 

Staining and Sealing

Taking the time to stain and seal is an important step for the overall health of your deck. Staining and sealing protects the wood by repelling water while allowing the wood to breathe and transfer moisture. 

Staining: Deck staining costs $1 to $5 per square foot. Generally, the more pigment a stain has, the more UV protection it provides. Without UV protection, your deck might turn gray or dry out, costing you more money in the long run and leaving you with an unattractive deck.

Sealing: The cost to seal or waterproof a deck ranges $0.75 to $4 per square foot. Clear sealants are mainly water repellents and don't carry UV light protection. If you want to protect your deck from UV damage, it's a good idea to apply a pigmented stain before sealing. 

Cleaning 

It’s helpful to set up a cleaning schedule to make sure your deck gets the care it needs year-round.

  • Early Spring: Set aside time in the spring to thoroughly wash, sweep, and clean your deck. Your contractor can recommend the best cleaner for your specific deck, which generally costs $10 to $30. Use the cleaner according to its specifications. For best results, choose a cloudy (but not rainy) day so the sun won’t evaporate the cleaner.

  • Late Spring: Seal the deck in late spring, allowing two days for the task. During this step, replace any missing or popped nails and screws.

  • Summer: During summer, examine your deck for rot or mildew. Pay close attention to the ledger, joists, posts, and beams.

  • Fall: In the fall, sweep away debris and take care of any cleaning or sealing you didn’t get around to in the spring.

With this year-round plan, your deck will stay in great shape for years to come.

FAQs

Is it cheaper to repair or replace a deck?

It's typically cheaper to repair a deck than to replace it. Repairing a deck costs between $797 and $3,172, while replacing it usually ranges from $4,000 to $11,000.

How often should you replace your deck?

How often you should replace your deck depends on how well it's maintained and the decking materials used. For instance, you can often get 50 years or more out of a well-maintained mahogany or ipe hardwood deck, while a cedar deck usually lasts 15 to 20 years with proper maintenance. 

How do I know if my deck needs replacing?

Signs that indicate it might be time for a replacement include soft spots on the deck, which often mean your wood is rotting and might need replacing. You should also look for sunken wood spots, wood shavings on the ground, and hollow wood sounds, which could indicate you have a termite or other insect problem leading to significant damage that requires replacement. 

However, you can often repair common deck problems instead of replacing the whole thing, so when in doubt, call a local deck repair company to help you find the best solution.