How to Repair Damaged Deck Boards








Damaged or rotten decking boards are ugly, they can be dangerous too. Luckily they’re incredibly easy to fix. I’ll tell you how to repair them which you make your deck a whole lot safer and it’ll last longer.

Now a classic example of rotten decking boards occurs where a potted plant has been sitting for an extended period of time. The decking boards are now a bit ugly and I’m going to tell you exactly how to replace it.

The first thing you need to do is establish exactly were the nails are, that’s nice and easy. Find the joist underneath because that’s where the deck board will be nailed to. It’s best to cut about a 1/4” away from the nails still left in the deck to remove only the nails on the rotted board. I cut a piece of board at a 90 degree angle and use this board as a guide. I nail this board 1/4″ away from the nails, make sure it’s lined up with the edge of the board and when I cut this board clean I’ll pop off this piece of board and throw it away. I use a finishing nail gun to nail down the guide board and a multi tool with wood cutting blade and I’ve also got a depth gauge on the front here that’s set to the exact depth as our decking so I don’t cut through the joist. If you don’t have a multi tool you can just use a hammer and chisel. After cutting through the decking board so we now need to pull out our nails in the middle of the board so I’m going to use the nail puller on the back of a hammer. Put the fork end of the hammer on the nail and give it a good whack and the nail will come right out. Once all the nails are out I then need to take off the guide block.

Then I need to measure the length of decking. That multi tool gives a perfect 90 deg edge and I have about a 1/2” of joist showing underneath. There’s a couple of different things I can do here. I can either pre-drill an angle hole for the screws to go through the end of our decking board but that is going to look quite ugly when I skew the nails in like that so what I’m going to do is screw a piece of board on the joist and then screw in the new decking board with screws at 90 degrees. I just use a battery powered drill to screw the decking in place.

If you are unsure what sort of decking to get just take your old piece into any hardware store and match it up. Just before I add the new piece of decking I’m going to chamfer the edges of the board to remove any sharp edges. Line up your nails in the new decking board with the nails in the existing board. Drill the nail at a slight angle and this will give the screw a little more to grip to. The screws I use have an annular groove. This helps the screw to grip into the board and keep the board from popping the screw out.

Now if you are worried about this being a different color than your deck, give it 6 months and then new board will blend into the same color as the existing.

That’s all there is to it. Check your deck for other damage and use the same procedure and you’ll have a safe, strong deck to enjoy.