The upkeep of your deck is important for a number of reasons. You want the structure to look its best for your family and your guests, as well as be an attractive feature to prospective buyers should you decide to list your house for sale. The upkeep of your deck can also help to ensure that it's a safe place for people to spend time on. One upkeep task that will occasionally come up is the replacement of your 4 x 4 post caps. This can be a good time to change from one post cap style to another if you want to give your deck a fresh look, although there's certainly nothing wrong with finding similar post caps to what you have now. Here are some times to replace your post caps.
They Have Loosened
Some types of post caps can get loose over time, and while you may occasionally be able to fix them, this is generally a sign that you want to replace them. For example, if you have ball-style post caps, some of the balls could no longer sit erect. Instead, they could be tilted to one side, depending on their construction. Not only is this an unkempt look, but it may also pose a safety hazard. For example, someone walking on the deck could grab one of the post cap balls for stability, only to have it shift in his or her hand — potentially resulting in a stumble.
They No Longer Work
If you've had lighted post caps on your deck for a long time, it's possible that one or more of them no longer work. There are several reasons that this could be the case. For example, if the solar panel atop some of the post caps has been damaged, the lights will no longer be able to get enough power to illuminate. A few post caps that light up and others that don't will give your deck a shoddy appearance. You'll benefit from replacing the post caps with a new set that light up properly.
Some Are Missing
It's possible for some post caps to blow off in heavy winds, and while you'll typically be able to find them somewhere in your yard, this won't always be the case. A significant storm may cause inexpertly installed post caps to blow away to the point that you can't track them down. This leaves you with missing post caps on your deck, which is obviously an eyesore. If you're facing any of these three scenarios, visit a retailer that specializes in post caps to find the right products for your deck.