Repairing Decking or Joists

 

When it comes to evaluating damage for deck repair, check to see if is confined to a small area, then replace that section rather than an entire board. This saves time and money and won't compromise your deck's look for sturdiness. If the damage is merely cosmetic, you can sometimes remove the plank, flip it over and fasten it back in place.

 

Before you cut completely through a damaged joist, support the deck on at least one side of the cut, Otherwise your deck could crash! Replace structural members with treated lumber if they're not visible. Match existing members that show with redwood, cedar or pressure-treated lumber.


WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS JOB:

TOOLS:

MATERIALS:

 


Step 1

Step 1: Remove nails or screws from the damaged decking board Remove nails or screws from the damaged decking board using a pry bar, screwdriver or drill. If the fasteners won't come out, chop the board into pieces with a chisel or saw, pry up the slivers, and replace.
  

Step 2

Step 2: Inspect the joists underneath for signs of rotted wood Inspect the joists underneath for signs of rotted wood. Repair and reinforce joists that have soft, discolored areas with rotted wood putty.
  

Step 3

Step 3: Remove any rotted portions of joists by hammer and chisel  Use a hammer and chisel to remove any rotted portions of joists.
  

Step 4

Step 4: Apply a thick coat of sealer-preservative to the damaged joist Apply a thick coat of clear sealer to the damaged joist. Let it dry, and then apply a second coat of sealer. Cut a reinforcing joist from pressure-treated lumber.
  

Step 5

Step 5: Treat all sides of the reinforcing joist with clear sealer-preservative Treat all sides of the reinforcing joist with a clear sealer and let it dry. Position the reinforcing joist tightly against the damaged joist, and attach it with 16d (3.5") galvanized nails driven every two feet or fasten it with 3 1/2-inch galvanized deck screws.
  

Step 6

Step 6: Attach the reinforcing joist to the ledger and header joist by toenailing with nails or screws Attach the reinforcing joist to the ledger and header joist by toenailing with nails or screws. Cut replacement deck boards from matching lumber, using a circular saw.
  

Step 7

Step 7: Weather new decking with solution made from baking sods and warm water If the existing decking is gray, "weather" the new decking with a solution made from 1 cup of baking soda and 1 gallon of warm water.  Apply in the solution with a scrub brush. Rinse and let dry.
  

Step 8

Step 8: Apply a coat of sealer-preservative to all sides and both ends of the new decking board Use wood stain that is the same color as the rest of the deck and apply stain to both sides of the board and the edges.
  

Step 9

Step 9: Position the new decking and attach it to joists with galvanized deck screws or nails Position the new decking and attach it to joists with galvanized deck screws or nails. Make sure the space between boards matches that of existing decking.