From harsh sun to hard rain, deck boards can take a beating. They can also rot from damp debris stuck in between them. If you notice rotting deck boards, it’s best to replace them as soon as possible as they can compromise the structural integrity of your entire deck.
Replacing a single or multiple deck boards is a great project for those new to DIY. It’s also great for those new to using a circular saw. Here’s what you’ll need for this quick, inexpensive project:
- Nail Puller
- Tape Measure
- Pry Bar
- Quick Square
- Circular Saw
- Deck Board
- Galvanized 8D Nails
- 2 ½”
- Or Deck Screws
- 2 ½” for 5/4” Decking
- 3” for 2” Decking
- Or Deck Screws
When taking on this DIY task, be sure to equip yourself with the proper safety gear.
Remove old board. Before removing old boards, use a tape measure to determine how long they are. If the boards are screwed into place, use a drill driver to back the screws out. If they’re nailed down, use a nail puller which typically has a slot on one or both ends to pull the nails from the rotted board. With the slot under the nail head, strike the tool with a hammer to drive the curved head under the wood surface. Then pry each nail up. Remove all nails. Then use the pry bar to carefully pull up and remove the boards.
Clean joist. Check joist for remaining nail pieces and remove them. Sweep away any debris with a broom.
Mark new board for cutting. Using the measurement from your old board, mark the new board to length with a pencil on quick square.
Cut new board. Position the new board on sawhorses with the waste side overhanging. Be sure to position the board like this. Making your cut between the horses could pinch the blade and cause dangerous kickback. After your board is properly positioned, make your cut with a circular saw.
Attach new board. If you’re replacing multiple boards, set them in place before attaching the joist. Using nails on adjoining boards as a guide, mark a line on your new boards for nail placement which will ensure a solid connection to the joist. Attach the board, starting at the end, and work your way down. If your deck was built with nails, we recommend using galvanized nails for consistency. If it was installed with screws, use ceramic-coated deck screws. Once you’ve attached your new board or boards, your repair is complete.
Step back and enjoy your newly-repaired deck!