Decks are awesome! But only if they are well maintained. If you let your deck fall into disrepair, it can be a real eyesore – and a safety hazard.

Many homeowners don’t have the time or knowledge to repair their decks. That’s where this article comes in.

Not only will you save money by repairing your deck yourself, but you’ll also get the satisfaction of knowing that you did it yourself – with a little help from us, of course. We’ll give you all the information and tools you need to make your deck look like new again.

So, if you’re thinking of repairing your deck yourself, here are ten things you need to do to keep it “TIP TOP”!!

1.You Need to Start Cleaning Up First

Now, I know this isn’t the most thrilling part of repairing your deck, but it’s an important first step.

You need to start by cleaning up all the dirt, leaves, and debris that have accumulated on your deck.

If you don’t, you’ll just be working with a dirty surface – which will make it harder to repair any damage, and could potentially make the damage worse. So take the time to sweep and hose down your deck before you start any repairs.

Related: How To Clean A Wooden Deck WITHOUT A Pressure Washer

2. Inspect for Damage and See What Needs Repairing

Once your deck is clean, it’s time to inspect it for damage. It might be handy to grab a notebook and take some notes as you go.

You need to take note of:

  • Is there splintered wood.
  • Are there loose nails.
  • Are there any cracks.
  • Are any of the steps loose.
  • Are there any moldy or mildew spots.
  • Are there dropped sections or fallen boards.
  • Are there any corroded or rusted nails, screws or fasteners.

As well as the list above, you can also use your own common sense and take a look to see if there’s anything out of place or just looks wrong.

3.Grab Your Tools and Materials

Once you have a list of any issues with your deck it’s time to gather the tools and materials you’ll need to make the repairs.

You’ll likely have the majority of the tools you need, but if there’s anything that you don’t have, ensure you buy them first before attempting to make any repairs.

The most common tools and materials you’ll need are:

  • Hammer – for driving in nails and screws.
  • Screwdriver – for tightening or loosening screws.
  • Pry bar – for removing boards and prying up nails.
  • Circular saw – for cutting boards (be sure to get the right blade for the type of wood you’re cutting).
  • Chisels – for chipping away at wood.
  • Rags – for cleaning up any mess.
  • Tape measure – for measuring boards and cuts.
  • Level – for making sure everything is level and even.
  • String line or chalk line – for marking straight lines.
  • Replacement decking boards – for replacing any damaged or rotten boards.
  • Replacement decking screws – for attaching new boards.
  • Outdoor wood glue – for attaching new boards and sealing cracks.
  • Caulking gun and sealant – for filling any cracks or gaps.
  • Sandpaper – for smoothing down any rough edges.
  • Stain, paint – for finishing touches.

Related: Deck Replacement: When It’s Needed & What You Need To Do

4.Fix and Replace

The first job to tackle would be to replace the cracked or broken boards.

To do this, you’ll need to:

Remove the old board – Use a pry bar or chisel to remove the nails or screws holding the old board in place. You might also need to use a saw to cut through any rotten boards.

Measure and cut the new board – Measure the space where the old board was and cut the new board to size. Be sure to use a level or string line so your cuts are straight.

Attach the new board – Secure the new board in place using screws or nails. Be sure to pre-drill any holes first to avoid splitting the wood.

Related: Super Simple Ways How To Dispose Of Old Deck Wood

5.Tighten Up Any Loose Screws or Nails

Once you’ve replaced any broken boards, it’s time to secure any loose screws or nails.

To do this:

Use a screwdriver or hammer to drive the nails back into place or to tighten the screws. If any of the nails are rusted or corroded, you’ll need to replace them with new ones.

6. Fill in Cracks or Holes with Wood Filler

Once you’ve tightened up any loose screws or nails, the next step is to fill in any cracks or holes with wood filler.

To do this:

Scoop some wood filler onto a putty knife and spread it into the crack or hole.

Use your finger or a damp rag to smooth out the wood filler and make it level with the rest of the surface.

7. Let the Wood Filler Dry

Once you’ve applied the wood filler, it’s important to let it dry completely before moving on to the next step. This usually takes around 24 hours.

8. Caulk Any Gaps

After the wood filler has dried, it’s time to caulk any gaps.

To do this:

Fill a caulking gun with sealant and cut the tip off at a 45-degree angle.

Squeeze the trigger of the caulking gun to apply the sealant into the gap.

Use your finger or a damp rag to smooth out the sealant and make it level with the rest of the surface.

9. Prime and Paint (or Stain)

After you’ve made all the necessary repairs, it’s time to finish things off by priming and painting (or staining) your deck.

To do this:

Start by cleaning the surface of your deck with a power washer or garden hose. This will remove any dirt, dust, or debris that’s accumulated over time.

Once the surface is clean and dry, apply a primer with a paintbrush or roller. Be sure to follow the instructions on the primer label.

After the primer has dried, apply a coat of paint or stain with a paintbrush or roller. Again, be sure to follow the instructions on the paint or stain label.

Let the paint or stain dry completely before using your deck again.

Related: When Is The Best Time Of Year To Pressure Wash Your Patio and Driveway?

10. Apply a Deck Sealer (Optional)

If you want to further protect your deck, you can apply a sealer after priming and painting (or staining).

To do this:

Start by cleaning the surface of your deck with a power washer or garden hose. This will remove any dirt, dust, or debris that’s accumulated over time.

Once the surface is clean and dry, apply a deck sealer with a paintbrush or roller. Be sure to follow the instructions on the sealer label.

Let the sealer dry completely before using your deck again.

11. Enjoy Your Newly Repaired Deck!

After completing all of the above steps, you should have a beautifully repaired deck that’s ready to be enjoyed!

FAQs

What can I use to fill the holes in my deck?

You can use wood filler, caulk, wood putty or sealant to fill the holes in your deck. Use a putty knife to apply the filler of your choice into the hole. Use your finger or a damp rag to smooth out the filler and make it level with the rest of the surface.

How do you fix a sagging deck?

If your deck is sagging, you’ll need to support it from underneath. To do this, you can use jacks, posts or piers. Place the jacks, posts or piers under the beam of the deck and slowly raise them until the deck is level. Once the deck is level, you can remove the jacks, posts or piers.

How often should I seal my deck?

It’s usually advised that you seal your deck every one to three years, depending on the type of sealer you use and the weather conditions it’s subjected to. If you reside in an area with harsh weather,

Can rotted wood be repaired?

Yes, you would first have to remove any rot from the wood. Then, you can fill in the holes or cracks with wood filler, caulk or sealant. Let the filler dry completely before priming and painting or staining the wood.

How do you restore and bring a weathered deck back to life?

Power washing and sanding down a weathered deck are the greatest methods to rejuvenate it. After the surface is clean and smooth, you may apply a primer and paint or stain to it. Allow for at least 24 hours before using your deck again after painting or staining it.

About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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