Your Guide to Deck Repair

Whether it's a small fix or a big redo, every deck ends up needing some tender loving care. Here are helpful suggestions for what you might be able to tackle yourself—and what you might need help with—when it comes to deck repair.

Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Share your take on this idea!
Upload your photo here.
CLOSE

Many deck repair projects are definite DIY jobs, even for the novice repair person. But some require the input of experts to determine what needs to be done to maintain a safe, beautiful space. Here are tips for common deck repair scenarios and strategies for tackling them. 

continue reading below

If Your Deck Needs Refinishing:

With time and normal wear and tear, nearly every deck needs to be refinished in order to better protect the wood and revitalize the stain color. Refinishing is also a good time to address any minor deck repairs, such as loose boards and missing nails. To refinish your deck, start by applying a deck cleaner to every surface, including support boards and railings. If old stain is particularly stubborn in certain areas, you may need to use a stain stripper to remove it. Then pressure wash the deck to remove the cleaner. Once the surfaces have dried, make any repairs such as driving in protruding nails, replacing damaged boards, or sanding rough surfaces. Then apply the stain or sealer of your choice.

If Deck Boards are Cracked or Damaged:

If the rest of your deck is in good shape, it's possible to replace a few cracked or damaged boards. Tackling the problem on a board-by-board basis is less intrusive and less costly in the long run. To fix the boards, you'll need to remove the board by unscrewing the fasteners. Cut a replacement board to size and re-attach, using the same type of fasteners. Then, seal and stain to match the rest of the deck.

Bonus: Deck Design Ideas

If the Deck is Wobbly:

Decks become wobbly for a variety of reasons, and deck collapses are a very real danger to you and your guests. Your deck could have foundation issues, loose connections to the house, loose connections between boards, or have insufficient diagonal bracing. Posts may have also been installed incorrectly, which can lead to rotting. Regardless, if your deck seems to have structural issues, consult an expert—an architect, deck builder, structural engineer, or contractor—for an analysis and recommendation as to deck repair steps.

If Deck Railings Need Repair:

Loose railings are a danger, but the fix can sometimes be quick and easy. You'll need to pre-drill holes and re-secure the railings with carriage bolts. Generally, the bolt should be used with a nut and washer. If that doesn't do the trick, look to an expert—the deck may have more severe structural issues. 

How to Make Your Deck More Private

If Nails Protrude from the Deck Surface:

Nothing's worse than walking along your deck in your bare feet, only to come across a loose nail. Luckily, this annoying (and dangerous!) situation has an easy fix. Nails that pop up on a deck surface can be repaired simply by using a hammer to pound them back in again. You may also consider replacing the nails with deck screws.

Wood Deck Maintenance

Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Share your take on this idea!
Upload your photo here.
CLOSE

More Deck Building

close
close
close
close
close

Loading... Please wait...

Add My Photo close
I Did It!
Share on Facebook
Uh oh! Please pick a jpg at least 600x600px.
Share on Facebook
Uh oh! Your photo failed to upload. Please try again or visit your profile.
No one has shared their photo yet.
close