How To Replace Bad Boards On Your Deck

A common issue with aging decks is that certain boards will rot or crack. These can be repaired or replaced without much trouble as long as you know what you are doing. Replacing boards on your deck is a great way to maintain it without having to build a whole new deck. Here is a little information on how to both replace bad boards and replace portions of boards that have suffered damage.

Replacing a section of a board is something that many people are afraid to try. The truth is, thought, that it is not that difficult to do. To do it, you will need a jigsaw or keyhole saw, screws, nails, a level, a measuring tape, and a drill.

The first step is to cut through your deck board next to the joists on both ends of the bad section you want to replace. Make sure you do not cut into the joist as it can damage both the joist and the saw if you do. Keep your drill handy since sometimes it is easier to start the cut by drilling a hole.

Next, a good idea is to cut a cleat in the space next to the joist. This will make it easier to attach the new section of board. Start your nails into the cleat before you put it in place to make it easier to attach it flush to the joist’s top. Now you are ready to attach the length of deck board.

Cut the board to fit the space you now have in your deck. Remember to measure twice, cut once. Using deck screws or nails, attach the board to the cleats you installed before. If you choose to go with nails, make sure you set them (push the head below the wood’s surface) to maintain a smooth deck surface. Finally, sand down any spots that are a little higher. If the board looks a little wider, though, that will usually change as the moisture leaves the new piece of wood.

The other project option is to replace an entire board. To do that, you will need to first remove the old board. You can use a cat’s paw or the claw of a hammer to remove it completely. If you have problems, you can cut the board near the joists like with board portions. From there, you simply re-install the board as you did when you built your deck. If you had to cut, you can use a cleat instead.

Replacing and repairing boards on your deck, though daunting, is really not that hard. Just remember to measure carefully, cut after measuring, and check for uneven surfaces. By making repairs and replacements of damaged or bad boards on your deck, you can help your deck to last longer and you can save yourself the cost and time associated with tearing out and replacing an entire deck. So take the time this weekend to replace those rotten boards or fix those split portions of decking on your home’s deck.

WARNING: when using saws and drills, make sure to wear proper eye protection and follow all safety precautions.