How To Replace a Damaged Deck Board

On Saturday mornings, my wife and I pull up dual rockers, and then share an hour amid the shadows that cross our side deck.  It is a time for breakfast, conversation, and bible study.  We are careful in our deck's upkeep.  We don't like trash, loose nails, toe stumpers, or rotted deck boards.  She keeps away the dirt; I do the rest.

The floorboards are usually the first to go.  They weaken, wear out, and sometimes break.  Deal with these issues swiftly.  A damaged deck board is not only a matter of personal safety; it can lead to further deterioration of the entire deck floor.

Providing that the floor-support joists are not also ruined, it is easy to replace damaged floorboards.

  1. Locate or cut off a two feet long length of scrap 1*4.  For the moment, set it aside.
  2. Measure the thickness of the damaged deck boards.
  3. If the deck flooring is not made up of tongue and groove boards, proceed directly to step 6.
  4. For tongue and groove style deck boards, you will need to make a rip-cut along the entire length of the grooved side of the damaged board.  This is to prevent splintering of the neighboring board.
  5. Adjust the cutting depth of your circular saw so as to match the measured thickness of the current deck boards.  Your cutting guide will be the crack between the grooved edge of the damaged deck board, and the tongued edge of the neighboring deck board.  Make the rip along the damaged board's side of the crack.
  6. Remove any screws that may anchor the damaged deck board to the joist.
  7. Using the scrap 1*4 as a protective barrier between a flat pry bar and the neighboring deck boards, pry up the damaged deck board.
  8. Turndown or remove any exposed nails before discarding the damaged board.
  9. Examine and remove any debris, splinters, and nail extrusions from the exposed floor joists.
  10. Measure and cut as necessary your replacement board.
  11. Place the new board into the cleared floor opening.  If tongue and groove, insert the tongued edge first so that the grooved edge will drop in and butt flush to the edge of the neighboring board with the missing tongue.
  12. Use coated decking screws to anchor down the new deck board.
  13. Clean, stain, and reseal as necessary.


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