How to Repair a Deck
Time Required: 2-4 hours
Repairing a small area of your deck can save you time and money. If a cosmetic issue, remove the plank, flip and refasten. If repairing a damaged joist, support the deck on one side or it could crash. Make any wood replacements with a similar type of pressure-treated lumber. This guide will teach you to safely repair any deck or joist.
Don't worry if you don't own all of the tools needed to complete this DIY project. Rent tools and trucks for any project at The Home Depot.
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 the board.
Inspect the joists underneath for signs of rotted wood. Use a hammer and chisel to remove any rotted portions of joists. Repair and reinforce joists that have soft, discolored areas with rotted wood putty.
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.
Cut replacement deck boards from matching lumber, using a circular saw. 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.
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