LESLIE: Jack in Florida’s having a situation with the deck. What’s happening?
JACK: Hey. After the wear and tear that has occurred on my deck over a period of years, the boards are uneven. They’re not … you know, like a nice, flat deck. They’re coming up at the ends or they’re one side is higher than the other. What can I do, short of replacing the entire board to fix that? Is there anything I can do?
TOM: That happens because, you know, the boards are cupping. And an easy way to fix that is to pull the board up and flip it over and put it back down again. Have you thought about that?
LESLIE: Because, that way, it’s crowning.
TOM: Yeah, they’ll be crowning in the right direction.
TOM: Is this deck screwed together or nailed together?
JACK: A lot of it was nailed together.
TOM: Alright, well, it doesn’t matter because you’re not going to see the holes. But what you want to do is you can use a nail remover – it’s called a cat’s paw – and you basically …
JACK: A cat’s puller.
TOM: Yeah, a cat’s paw. And basically, you drive it in around the nail head and start pulling the board up. And after you get a few up, you can get a crowbar in there or a flat bar and lift it up, take the nails out, flip it upside down and put it back down again with the … with the crown …
LESLIE: And this time, use screws.
TOM: Yeah, exactly. And this way, with the crown facing down.
TOM: And the underside of the deck board is probably going to be in perfect condition. It’ll look great.
JACK: I’ll be darned. (laughing) Well, that’s a simple solution to a … to a terrible looking problem. (laughing)
TOM: Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you that there wasn’t a more complicated answer.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) We could make it harder.
TOM: Yeah, we’re good at making things more complicated than they have to be. (laughing)
JACK: I do appreciate that.
TOM: Alright, Jack. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.