Repairing a deck is a great way to save time and money when the damage is minor. Whether it’s a broken board, a hole, or normal wear, wood is easy to replace. Before you get started, you’ll need wood sealant, filler, wood stain, a hammer, chisel, pressure treated wood, and nails.
Step 1: Remove the Nails
Before starting deck repair, you need to remove all the nails that are holding the boards together. Using the back end of the hammer, pry up the nails and rip them from the boards. If you’re unable to access the head of the nails, you may need to strike the board to chip away some of the wood around it prior to pulling it out. If you still can’t remove the nails, cut the board into pieces and discard it.
Step 2: Get Rid of Damaged Wood
Inspect the decking for signs of rot, and identify all areas of weakened wood. When you find it, stick the chisel into the edge of the rotten area and strike the top of it with the hammer. Your goal is to pry out the rotted wood and then replace it with wood filler. If the damage is too extensive, remove the board completely.
Step 3: Allow the Wood Filler to Dry
Give the wood filler ample time to dry before proceeding further with any steps. The filler will slowly harden, become part of the existing wooden slats. Ensure that the wood putty has been smoothed out so it’s parallel to the boards.
Step 4: Seal the Wooden Boards
Now that the board has dried, apply a thick coat of wood sealant to protect the lumber and create a durable moisture barrier. Inclement weather with heavy rain is one of the leading causes of wood rot, so don’t skip this key step.
Step 5: Cut the Deck Board to Size
Measure the length of the other deck slats and cut the deck board to the appropriate size. To ensure an even cut, use an electric saw and mark the line of the cut with a pencil in advance.
Step 6: Stain the Wood
Every residential deck comes in different shades of color; brown and gray are the most common, each having hundreds of shades to choose from. An easy way to pick the right stain is to bring a small wooden slat to Home Depot and have it color-matched. The process takes less than 30 seconds and you’ll have the exact same color stain for additional lumber. Take the new stain and apply it to the surface of the wood.
Step 7: Connect the Board
Grab the new piece of lumber and lay it side by side with the other boards. Then, nail the slat into place; use 3 nails per cross-beam.
This simple 7-step process is an easy way to save hundreds of dollars on your next deck repair without help from a contractor.
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