A bad deck is a complicated thing. The first question that you should ask a professional if you do not already know, is what kind of wood is the deck made of? If the deck is made of wood, what kind of wood is it. Most decks in North America are made from Cedar and redwood. Both of these woods are strong and weather-resistant but if they are not weather treated which does ruin the grain of the wood. If your deck is made of pressure-treated wood and you want to tear it down it must be disposed of at a special site and cannot be used again as the chemicals released when tearing it down can damage the environment. So, make sure to get a hauling truck and do not leave one splinter on your yard. One of the most common decks being made today is not made of wood at all. It’s made from PVC or polyvinyl chloride. It is plastic so it is not real wood and does not look like real wood but will last much, much longer than a wooden deck ever will.
Now once you have a deck and time has passed so much that the deck is getting old. A natural wood deck is going to age from wind, rain, and UV radiation from the sun. It will dry out and then get wet and dry out again warping with each drying. The deck will start to shrink. Not the deck itself, but the boards. They will get twisted and old and as they shrink the nails that once held them in will become protruded and dangerous. Especially if the nails are not made from galvanized steel which would make them waterproof. These nails can be very dangerous and can even cause tetanus. So, if you are seeing nails visibly on the deck it’s time to get it torn down.
The weather does more than just wear the deck down, warp and contort it. It also causes long-term dampness in some seasons that can cause mold to grow. A moldy deck board has shades of green in its coloring. This can be a sign of serious wear that could result in a deck board breaking underfoot. The danger, including breaking a leg is so severe that if your deck looks dangerous do not go on it. It’s cheaper to pull it all down than to miss six months of work recuperating from a broken bone. If you walk on your deck and it feels like you are bouncing, it’s called the trampoline effect and it means your deck is finished and needs to be torn down.
Taking down a deck can also be very dangerous as the wood is delicate and standing on it may not be a good idea. Watch out for those nails as well. They can cut you while you try to remove boards. If your deck is cemented into the ground, it may require a lot of people or even a small crane to remove fully.