you're in the
home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!
and Porches Category
Wood board is rotten, infested with insects or otherwise
Tools / Materials (See Below for
Pressure-treated wood (for the deck)
Galvanized deck screws
Galvanized lag bolts
Wrench (for lag bolts)
Power drill with appropriate bit
Epoxy wood filler
Joint knife/plumber's putty knife
Water-resistant/repellent deck sealer (stained sealer or clear
sealer, depending on preference)
Deck brightener (like Wolman Deck and Fence Brightener)
Machine belt sander or medium-level sandpaper
In the course of having a wood deck, you may come
across a rotten, insect-infested or otherwise damaged wood board; in
fact, usually, when there is one bad wood board, the boards next to
it are bad, too, so make sure you do a thorough inspection of your
wood deck when you see one bad wood board. The best way to
remedy a rotten, insect-infested or otherwise damaged wood board is
to replace it; you may have to use a chisel to get at the head of
the stubborn nail or screw.
Caution: When dealing with chemicals, such as
those found in a sealer, and sharp objects, such as a saw, make sure you take precautions;
read all product manufacturer instructions.
Replacing a wood board of your wood deck can be done in a few steps,
and here's how:
Using a pry bar
or a screwdriver, depending on the type of fasteners used on the
wood deck, take out the particularly bad wood board by removing
its fasteners. If the fasteners--be it nails or screws--on
this board are too stubborn to come out, use a reciprocating saw
or hacksaw to carefully cut them.
With the bad wood
board removed, check the condition of the the joist below.
If the joist is partially rotten, which is likely the case, you
can chisel out the rotten part with a chisel and hammer or
attempt to use a saw, if practical.
For any part of
the joist removed, add epoxy wood filler to the removed area,
using a joint knife or plumber's putty knife in this wood-filler
application as is necessary.
To reinforce the
structural integrity of this joist, cut to size from the
pressure-treated wood a piece of wood to act as custom-made
joist-reinforcer, and attach this new piece of wood directly on
the side of this affected existing joist with lag bolts, all
bolts of which should be securely tightened with an appropriate
wrench. (Of course, use an power drill to pre-drill pilot
holes with an appropriate drill bit for the easy screw-on of the
remaining newly purchased pressure-treated wood, cut to size the
wood board replacement, making sure it conforms with the size of
the wood board taken out. Remember this adage in the
process: Measure twice and cut once.
Once you have
this cut-to-size wood board replacement in your hands and
checked that it will fit in the void created by the removal of
the bad wood board, go ahead and follow the steps to make sure
this wood board replacement is sealed in following these steps:
i. If applicable,
with a machine belt sander or the use of sandpaper applied with
your hands, sand any uneven or otherwise rough surfaces of the
wood board replacement, and sweep up this sanding debris/sawdust with a broom
into a dust pan.
ii. Apply the
water-resistant/repellent deck sealer, whether it is a staining
sealer or a clear sealer, with either a paint sprayer or a
paintbrush; with a paint brush, be sure to move the paintbrush
in the direction of the grain of the wood, making sure the sides
also receive the sealer application.
iii. Make sure that when you're using a paint sprayer that you
apply an even coat of the sealer, and that any drippings of the
sealer should be spread even with a paintbrush.
iv. Allow the applied
sealer to cure per the sealer manufacturer's instructions.
Attach this wood
board replacement with galvanized deck screws.
Finally, as you
find necessary, in an effort to make the existing part of the
wood deck blend in as much as possible with the wood board
replacement, brighten the surface of the existing wood deck
(i.e., the top surfaces of the existing wood boards, primarily)
with a deck brightener.
That's what it takes to take care of
deteriorating components of a wood deck so as to maintain it overall
for continued use.
Handyman Zone Team
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