There are a number of signs which might indicate that you should hire a contractor to tear down your existing deck and build a new one in its place. Here are two such signs.
The decking timber feels different
Decking timber which is in good condition should feel firm underfoot and smooth when you run your hand over it.
If when you walk across your deck, the timber floor feels spongy underneath your feet, or if parts of the deck's pillars crumble when you brush your hand over them, it is probably time to hire a contractor to replace this structure.
The reason for this is as follows; the above-mentioned issues are usually an indication of the presence of wet rot, a destructive fungus which eats away at wood and affects both its structural integrity and its appearance.
Wet rot tends to occur most frequently on old decks, which have not be treated with any form of fungicide and as such, have no protective coating that will prevent this fungus from developing.
If a large portion of your deck is covered in this fungus, the structure may be unsafe to stand on for long periods of time. As such, in this situation, it is best to arrange for a contractor to remove the entire deck and build a new one from scratch.
To prevent this problem from arising again in the future, make sure to ask your contractor to use pre-treated decking timber, that has been coated with high-quality fungicides. You should then re-apply a fresh layer of these chemicals at least once a year.
The deck no longer suits the needs of your household
A small, simple deck may be perfectly adequate for one or two adults. However, if for example, you and your spouse have had children, it might be necessary to build a new deck, which better suits the needs of your young family.
For instance, if your current deck is raised and has very low safety railings (or no railings at all), it might be wise to ask your contractor to replace it with a deck that is closer to the ground and which is surrounded by solid fencing that your children cannot climb over.
This will drastically reduce the likelihood of your children falling from a height and injuring themselves when they play outside on the deck.
Likewise, if your little ones have a wide collection of outdoor toys and equipment (such as a mini trampoline, a paddling pool, footballs, etc) that are cluttering up your existing deck, you should consider having your contractor build a much larger deck that has inbuilt storage cabinets.
This will not only make the deck much tidier and more enjoyable to spend time on, but will also reduce the chances of these expensive toys getting damaged as a result of being constantly exposed to the elements.