Replacing a few rotted decking slats
We have several cedar decks in our PNW house that are about 17 years old. They've held up well to the wet weather, and I've been good about cleaning/restaining every 2 years on the horizontal surfaces.
However, I've noticed this summer that several spots have a few individual horizontal slats with dry rot areas. This tends to be directly under a rain gutter or under a tree limb. What is odd also is that the dry rot seems to be isolated to an individual slat and not in the neighboring slats.
Is it recommended to cut out the affected area (about 4 feet length) then replace? Or should I just rip out the entire length of that individual slat (about 12-14 feet in each case) then replace with a new one? Looking online, it seems cutting out the affected area is more common, but that involves adding extra bracing underneath to hold the new wood.
I could hire a handyman/carpenter to do the job, but was wondering if this was something easy enough to do on my own to save a few pennies.
For what it's worth, they say we usually can only get about 15 years out of a deck in our wet climate before replacement. The vertical elements of all our decks are still in great shape, so maybe it's time to just replace as many of the horizontal pieces as needed? I'm not sure I want to spend the kind of money it would take to do a complete replacement of the horizontal wood this year.