How to Replace a Section of Bad Decking in a Wood Deck

Do you have a wood deck that has some patches that just don’t look good anymore? This happens as decks age and the boards or parts of boards start to rot or just wear really bad. There are a few different things you can do; if you have entire boards that are bad you can simply take them off and replace them, you can even take them off and turn them over if the damage isn’t bad on both sides. If you have a little part of board or several little parts of boards that are bad you don’t have to replace all the boards, there is a trick and here it is.

First you need to locate the bad areas and the joists that are the closest to the bad spot. By replacing little pieces of boards instead of the whole thing you can save a lot of money. The best way to find the joists is to find the screw or nail holes where the boards are connected to the joists. Go about 1 inch to the side of the joist where the bad patch is then drill a started hole big enough to get a jig saw in or a keyhole saw. Once you have found the edge of the joist cut across it as close and straight as possible until you have cut the deck board in half. Remove the section that is bad and cut a piece to match what you need.

Next you need to be able to support the new deck board because the joist is still covered by the existing deck board. So to support the new piece of decking you need to fasten a cleat (this is basically a 2×4 or 2×6) to the exposed joist. Make sure it is flush with the existing joist as to not make the new deck board uneven with the rest of the decking. Now it is time to cut your new piece to fit and put it in. Some people like to make the new piece look similar to the rest of the decking so they weather it. To do this you can scrub it with a rough brush and also scrubbing some baking soda and water on it. Now it won’t take too long for the new board to look the same so this step is not necessary.

Once the piece is cut to fit put it in place with the proper spacing and nail it in place. You can do this to as many spots as needed and again it is much cheaper than replacing a bunch of boards. At first you will be able to tell where you have made the repairs but before too long it will all look the same and you will have a deck that looks great and is no longer a danger to be on.

Another quick tip while you have a deck board off is to stick your head down under the deck and be sure nothing structural is failing or rotting. A quick look can save some expensive demo and re-construction down the road. There are some things you can do to repair the structure of a deck as well but that is for another time. Hope this helps….

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