5 Porch Repair Warning Signs & My Handyman's Repair Solutions

Whether it's in front or out back, screened or open, a porch is an excellent addition to your Ann Arbor home. It offers a shady, comfortable place to socialize and enjoy the outdoors, and goes a long way to boost your curb appeal and property value.

But when your porch is showing signs of disrepair, it has the opposite effects of lowering the tone of your entire property and creating dangerous hazards for you and your guests to dodge. When that happens, it's time for porch repair services.

Wondering if you need porch repair right now, or if it'll last another season? This guide will cover five signs that you need help from the service professionals at My Handyman of Ann Arbor, Saline, and Chelsea, plus our repair solutions to get your porch looking as great as it did on the day it was installed.

1. Rotting Wood

If you have a wood porch, or even just some elements of it that are constructed with timber, then wood rot is your number one enemy. That's because wood rot is a form of decay caused by wood-eating fungi that thrive in damp timber, and your outdoor surfaces are frequently soaked by rain and snow melt. Wood rot is a serious problem that can cause your entire porch to crumble apart and even spread to other parts of your house, causing structural integrity issues and a host of other water damage symptoms.

Solution: The best way to eliminate wood rot is to remove the rot-damaged board and replace it with pressure-treated lumber, then apply borate wood preservative followed by a fresh coat of paint or wood stain, and finish it up with sealant to help repel moisture. However, if the patches of decay are very small or removing the timber would be prohibitively difficult, your handyman may be able to repair it by scraping out the rot and replacing it with epoxy filler.

2. Crumbling Concrete

Porches that are supported by (or made entirely of) a concrete pad are solid and durable, but over time they can begin to show their age with crumbling corners and pitted surfaces. Damaged concrete looks unattractive, but it can also be a big tripping hazard that will send you sprawling with nothing but a hard, concrete surface to break your fall.

Solution: As long as the overall structure of the concrete is solid, concrete porch repair for surface issues such as crumbling is manageable. Your handyman will likely begin with pressure washing to clean the surface and remove any remnants of loose concrete, then mix up a new batch and fill the holes in—a form may be necessary if there's a missing corner. Then they'll smooth a fresh layer across the entire surface, leaving behind a like-new porch with no holes, chips, or cracks.

3. Peeling Paint

Peeling paint isn't as big of a problem as rotting timber, but it's a sure sign that wood rot is right around the corner. When timber absorbs moisture, it swells up and pushes outward on the paint or wood stain, causing it to flake and peel off. That leaves the timber underneath vulnerable to even more water absorption, creating the ideal conditions for wood rot fungi. It also causes the wood to splinter and crack.

Solution: Pressure washing isn't just for cleaning off dirt. It's also the ideal way to prime surfaces such as porches and decks for repair and refinishing, because it can remove loose paint and wood stain far faster and easier than sanding—leaving a clean, smooth surface to work on. Then, your handyman will reapply your choice of paint or stain and seal it to prevent moisture damage.

4. Damaged Porch Screen

If you have a screened-in porch, you know how great it is to have an outdoor haven that can't be invaded by the world's worst insect, the mosquito. But if there's even the tiniest rip or hole in the screen mesh, your porch will soon be filled with a buzzing cloud of nasty little bloodsuckers looking for their opportunity to chomp on you.

Solution: When it comes to the screen part of screen porch repair, the panel of mesh needs to be replaced—but if the frame is in good condition, it's just a matter of getting the new mesh into the old frame and making sure it's taut. Worried that mosquitoes will be able to squeeze themselves through the mesh? Don't panic—the standard mesh is 18x16, meaning it has 18 strands per inch in one direction and 16 per inch in the other. That's way too small for a mosquito, but if you're concerned about their annoying cousins, no-see-ums (also known as biting midges or gnats), 20x20 mesh is a better choice.

5. Loose Railings & Weak Stairs

Does your porch step make a noise like it's being tortured when you put weight on it? Does your railing move out of the way when you try to lean against it? It's not you—it's them. Wobbly railings and weakened stairs can cause serious injury if they can't hold an unsuspecting person's weight.

Solution: While you may only need a minor railing repair if they've become loose at the point where they're secured to the wall or other sections of handrail, in most cases they are loosened up because of wood rot and it's necessary for your handyman to entirely replace porch railings. The same applies to steps—a repair would only be temporary, so if they're showing signs of wear, stair replacement makes the most sense.

Trust My Handyman for Expert Porch Repair Services in Ann Arbor

Whether you're in Ann Arbor or a nearby area such as Ypsilanti, Milan, and Dexter, you can rely on expert services from My Handyman of Ann Arbor, Saline, and Chelsea. We have the experience to tackle everything from a simple repair to building a custom-made porch from the ground up!

Call us today at 734-666-3021 to request service and find out more about how we can improve your home and make your life easier.

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