At TNT Home Improvements, we are regularly called out to make some repairs on wood decks in Fort Collins, CO. These repairs can come in just about any shape or size, but in general they usually fall under one of the three categories that we’ll cover below.
Replacing broken boards in the deck
If you have split, rotten or otherwise degraded deck boards that are ruining the overall appearance of your deck, you should replace them as soon as possible. Don’t worry about them not fitting in with the rest of your deck; after a year or two of weathering, they will blend right into the rest of the deck. Just make sure you use the same wood type and thickness.
In some cases, you might not even have to replace the entire board. If this is the case, you should just make sure you cut a piece that goes across three joists. Do not hesitate to cut a little extra wood, as well, so you can stagger the wood with the adjacent joints for a better overall appearance.
The hardest part of this process is cutting out the damaged section of the wood cleanly. This is a job that’s probably too big for a jigsaw, so you will need to use a sharp, stiff blade to help keep your cuts straight. You should make sure you pre-drill holes for your screws, as well, so they can pull themselves in tightly to the joists.
Tightening decks that have become wobbly or bouncy
If the deck does not feel solid or strong when you walk across it, the cause is typically a long joist spanning between your beams, or between a beam and your house. You’ll need to access the framing underneath to be able to stiffen your deck. Then, you have several options as to how to fix the problem. You can add another beam for additional support, though this is a rather large job. To do this, you should first add rows of solid blocks every three or four feet along where the beam will span.
If you choose this method, you should use treated lumber blocking that is approximately the same size as the joists (usually either 2×8 or 2×10). Then, install these blocks in rows based on your measurements.
Replacing loose or damaged nails
Your deck will shrink and swell over the course of the seasons, which can cause the boards to expand and contract, popping out some of the nails above the boards. Sure, you can just drive them back into place, but in most cases this is only a short-term solution. For a more permanent fix, you should remove these nails and replace them with deck screws.
The hardest part of this job is removing those nails without damaging your deck. You should always use a block underneath your prying tool of choice, and take your time when working on particularly difficult-to-remove nails. A diagonal cutter could help you get out nails that are not protruding very far.
The old nail hole can act as a pilot hole for your deck screw. We recommend purchasing deck screws in colors that match the decking, so they don’t stick out too much.
For more information about the types of repair jobs we take on for wood decks in Fort Collins, CO, contact us today at TNT Home Improvements.