Removing Wood Rot On Your Deck

by Zoryana Rawlins 04/19/2019

Your outdoor deck will often serve as the preferred place for entertaining and relaxing on a sunny day. But wood decks do not last forever. It's imperative that you repair your wood deck and its weak posts to keep your deck in top shape, but when wood rot is concerned, it's better to take out the rotten wood entirely and rebuild the deck. 

1. Identifying Wood Rot in a Deck

Weakened wood doesn’t necessarily indicate rot with rot, the wood is usually soft and spongy to the touch, with the outer surface losing its coloration. When you push anything into the wood, it will push in very easily, with the wood crumbling. There is usually the presence of fungus with wood rot. The interior of the wood is rotten and very porous, often falling apart when touched and disintegrating with a feel close to that of dry bread.

2. Remove Rotten Wood Deck Boards

Use a claw hammer or pry bar to remove rotten wood deck boards, while you are standing on the ground or mounting a ladder next to the deck. Remove as many of the intact sections as you can. After all whole sections are removed, turn the boards over to the other side and remove the nails from the back. Repeat it on the front side, removing the nails with the claw hammer, and throw away the nails. Any sections of rotten wood left on the joists can be chiseled off with the pry bar. Pry off the nails still on the joists with the claw hammer and dispose of them.

3. Cutting Rotten Deck Post

Rotten wood deck railings are particularly dangerous for people using the deck as they depend on them for safety. Most people who use the deck assume that railings and guards are safe to use and may end up leaning against them with their full weight. Remove the rotten railings by using your hammer to strike beneath it, hitting upwards. This angle removes the nails which are holding the rails. Continue by sliding the pry bar underneath the railing or guard and wrenching upward. Posts that provide support railings and guards can consequently be removed by hand. To be safe, you should remove all nails as soon as they come off the destroyed deck.

You can get the materials you need from any hardware store around you. You should also wear a respirator because there are potentially dangerous fungi accompanying wood rot.

About the Author

Zoryana Rawlins

Zoryana Rawlins is a highly motivated and self-driven REALTOR® who combines a love of the industry with a passion for constant learning and self-improvement. Before getting into the real estate business, Zoryana previously taught at ICA Language School and Foreign Service Institute of U.S. Department of State. She was a very responsible instructor and very attentive to the needs of her students. Her hard work and listening skills helped her students achieve high-level positions. As your real estate agent, Zoryana utilizes up-to-date technology tools to market your property, hosts your Open Houses, uses her negotiation skills to secure the best deal for you as well as smooth and flawless transactions that will ultimately achieve your satisfaction. Zoryana is active with Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS®. A lover of all things Virginia, Zoryana lives in Falls Church, Virginia, with her husband Michael, their son Roman and two adorable dogs Tuzik and Michiko.