Repair Cracked Deck Board: Easy Fix
LESLIE: Bill in Georgia, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
BILL: I have a deck that’s about six years old. The wood has never been treated and I wanted to know – it’s not cup (ph), it’s got a little checking – and I wanted to know if I could save a little money by flipping the boards over and then doing like a colored stain on top of it so I don’t have to buy all brand-new wood.
TOM: Deck flipping. We love deck flipping.
LESLIE: I mean it really is an economic solution. Would you be flipping all boards or just the checked boards?
BILL: I think most of the boards but I think some of them may have shrunk or may be a little bit short, so I’d have to put some new ones in there somewhere.
TOM: I don’t think there’s any reason not to do it. When you take them out – is this five-quarter by six?
TOM: OK. What you might want to do is pick up a handy little tool called a cat’s paw. No cats are harmed, by the way, in the manufacture of these tools. (Leslie chuckles)
LESLIE: I’m like, “Is it a keychain?” (chuckles)
TOM: No, it’s a cat’s paw. Have you ever seen one?
BILL: Looks like a pry bar.
TOM: It’s like a pry bar but it has a little curve, sort of like a claw, at the end of it and you can drive it right under the nail and bend it and it pulls the nail right out. And if I was going to pull a lot of those boards out, I would use a cat’s paw because it’s easy to get started and then you can run the pry bar underneath it, flip it out. Because the thing is, you only want to damage the top of the board as you’re pulling it apart.
TOM: This will leave the bottom of the board in perfect shape. You can flip it over; use the same nail holes to secure it right down again and you know, you’re still going to have some checking but it will look a lot better than the original upside of it.
LESLIE: And the only thing is, Bill, if you’re going to replace some boards with new boards, you have to let the new boards cure about six months with pressure-treated – or at least a season before you apply a finish. So if you’re going to go ahead, I would say flip the boards now, put the new boards in, wait the winter and then go ahead and refinish in the spring.
BILL: OK. Thanks for the advice.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.