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Old 09-26-2010, 10:53 PM   #1
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Is it too late to use exterior screws?


A buddy of mine is helping me build my deck, and he let me borrow his nail gun. Unfortunately, I didn't pay any attention to the fact that the nails he gave me were interior framing nails, and I'm now noticing that all of the exposed nails are rusting. Unfortunately, I used these nails all over the beams, joists, and blocking I've done thus far on my deck. Fortunately, I used galvanized nails and joist hangers to attach the joists to the ledger board, and I also used galvanized nails to attach most of the joists to the one beam I have. Also fortunately, I haven't attached any of the decking (composite) yet, so I can still easily get to all the joists and blocking.

Here's my question - if I put exterior screws next to all of the interior nails, basically as if there were no nails to begin with, will that prevent the rusting nails from causing structural issues for my deck down the road?
Thanks in advance for any helpful guidance you can provide!

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Old 09-26-2010, 11:18 PM   #2
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Is it too late to use exterior screws?


Personally, I'd remove em all and do it right.

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Old 09-27-2010, 05:27 AM   #3
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Is it too late to use exterior screws?


The chemicals in the pressure treated wood will eat those nails in a year or two---

Read up on fastening PT wood--I'm not a deck guy---I think someone will be around to fill you in,Mike
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Old 09-27-2010, 05:53 AM   #4
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Is it too late to use exterior screws?


Actually, if the PT wood is ACQ, it will eat the nails in a matter of months. Pull them out and start over, preferrably with stainless steel, but at least with hot dip galvanized.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:26 AM   #5
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Is it too late to use exterior screws?


Once you pull the nails, you will effectively have a predrilled hole for a rated screw. As noted, you need to use either stainless or hot dipped galvanized with ACQ PT lumber. Check with your local building inspector about whether screws are acceptable, in my town screws are fine as long as they are rated for the use (for example Simpson makes at least three different types of screws that are structurally rated).
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Old 09-27-2010, 04:04 PM   #6
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Is it too late to use exterior screws?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jwilliams62 View Post


Here's my question - if I put exterior screws next to all of the interior nails,
You don't need to use screws. Pull the nails out and use the correct nails.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:28 PM   #7
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Is it too late to use exterior screws?


I really appreciate everyone's replies. The prevailing opinion is to remove the existing nails and go with stainless or galvanized nails. I can see being able to remove maybe 25% of the existing nails, but the rest of them are sunk well below the surface of the joists and beams. Even if I were to use a reciprocating saw between the pieces of wood to cut the nails, I'll still be stuck with the tips of the nails buried in one side, and the head of the nail buried in the other. I could then either spend hours and hours trying to remove each individual piece of nail, or just start over with new lumber. Neither of these options seem like a practical solution, particularly given that I have used galvanized nails and connectors to attach the joists to the ledger and to the beam in places, and have used galvanized bolts to attach the beams to the posts. I've also used 2x10 lumber in the framing, so the joists and beams should remain plenty strong even with the rusty nails. All this being said, I think my only practical choice here is run plenty of coated screws everywhere.

Despite my hardheadedness on this, I really do appreciate everyone's responses and opinions. It's great to have a forum like this!

Jeff
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:11 AM   #8
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Is it too late to use exterior screws?


pull them out and use the correct nails for pt lumber, or if you would rather use screws get the correct screws and go to town!
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:05 AM   #9
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Is it too late to use exterior screws?


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Originally Posted by jwilliams62 View Post
I can see being able to remove maybe 25% of the existing nails, but the rest of them are sunk well below the surface of the joists and beams.
You should be able to slowly pry the planks up (my need to use a rubber mallet). This will expose the nails, and you'll be able to remove them with a hammer.

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