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jimgibson 09-13-2005 03:31 PM

Deck nails
I built a deck using severe weather pressure treated pine. I used bright common nails that were recommended by the hardware clerk. I noticed the nail heads rusting after just three weeks and looked for advice online. I found that I should have used galvanized nails. Does anyone know how long these nails will last? The deck is rather large with a roof and I have over 3,000 nails in it. They would be virtually impossible to remove and replace. HELP!

'Andyman 09-13-2005 07:24 PM


I think you are stuck with the nails. The hardware guy should have known better. Have you sealed the deck yet with a water sealer? I dont know if a deck wash usualy used for weathered decks would take the rust off but if it did, you could then at least put a sealer on and hopefuly the nails would be somewhat protected from the elements.

Teetorbilt 09-13-2005 07:30 PM

Read me first.

I have always used SS screws, you may have to as well to get anything to hold in the old holes. I would count on replacing all of them as they will continue to rust and stain.

jimgibson 09-13-2005 08:07 PM

Are the nails going to just rust and make black stains around the head on the deck or are they going to totally deteriorate, causing the deck boards to come loose? Also I have not sealed the deck yet. Is there any way to hit the heads with a piece of sandpaper and seal each head individually with polyurethane or another sealer? Then I would seal the entire deck with a construction grade sealer. I would gladly go to the trouble of doing this rather than try to replace this many nails.
How would I even go about removing the nails? I shot them in and some of the heads are sunk. I could use a cat's claw but it is going to make a mess of the deck. It is 8'x43' with a roof over it with another side porch that is 10'x10'. What a bummer.

JustaFramer 09-13-2005 10:54 PM

I'd punch the idiot that sold you the nails. Hot dipped galvanized would of been a better choice that bright's.. Damn shame HDG are expensive when collated. But the ol' fashion way takes longer. ;)

If you can get underneath the deck whack them with a hammer and a scrap block.

K2eoj 09-13-2005 11:06 PM

I would try setting the nails down about 1/2 inch and then try to find a filler that will bond and hold. Maybe try a small area and some different fillers. I think you will have to pioneer some new ground to save that deck. A cats paw might work if you then flip the boards over so you won't see the chewed up side, but what kind of nails did you use for framing the joists etc? Good luck HS. I hope that clerk isn't giving expert advice in the electrical department.

jimgibson 09-14-2005 04:33 PM

Hey Guys,

Thanks for all the responses. I would like to try and sink the nails and then seal the deck. The thing I am most worried about is, will the pressure treated chemicals eat the nails inside the boards and compromise the structure? And if so, how long will that take? Any ideas? Also, yes the same nails are in the joists and the rafters. Ah, the pain! I truly appreciate all the input.

MinConst 09-14-2005 06:20 PM


The thing I am most worried about is, will the pressure treated chemicals eat the nails inside the boards and compromise the structure?

Absolutley. As Teetor pointed out read the articles. The new ACQ treatment will eat those bights in no time. You have some serious work to do. What a bummer.

GMW 09-14-2005 07:35 PM

I would try and do what Justaframer said. Hit the boards from underneath and relace with galvanized or stainless. I suppose you could also wait for them to rust out, should be all loose by next spring. :D

JustaFramer 09-15-2005 03:46 AM

I have heard six months and those nails will be gone. Better to fix now than have a liability of a collapsing deck. I read some paper work and I don't think stainless is considered a proper nail for the ACQ pressure treated. Might be wrong but I know the inspectors look for double hot dipped galvie nails. And those are around a 100 dollars a box for the gun.

I jsut read what Teetor posted after I posted yada yada yada. And I guess ss is considered one of the fasteners. I don't think that would fly up here.

jimgibson 09-15-2005 05:50 AM

Thanks all. The nails start coming out today. I do believe that from now on I will check out all aspects of a job before trusting the advice of the "Hardware Man." I like to "do it myself" and I guess I just didn't use due diligence on this one. You live and learn.

jimgibson 09-17-2005 08:47 AM

Well guys, I sunk over 800 nails using a punch and hammer. I then shot in double hot-dipped galvanized nails and today I start finding a putty sealer that will make the job look half-way decent. Have I learned anything? Dear God I hope so! What a job!
I also replaced my joist and rafter nails and reinforced everything. I've got a couple of tons of wood in this project and ten tons of nails. It should be sturdy enough. If a hurricane blows the house away, the porch shall remain. The only thing I have to worry about is a solar magnet storm.
I do appreciate all the help and when I start another job, I'll be right here asking BEFORE I get into a mess like this again. Thanks all.

mighty anvil 10-09-2005 02:22 PM

This is the tool that will pull any nail out of anything. It is cast iron with a sliding handle. It removes a small pinch of woodon each side of the nail head but it never fails. I've used mine for 30 years.

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