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Old 04-22-2015, 06:29 AM   #1
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Split boards on deck


I'm planning on refinishing my deck this summer, however the previous homeowner neglected it and the boards are splitting.

How do I fix cracked/split boards? I've seen turn over or replace, but do you recommend a filling for them instead?

Also should this step done prior to power washing or after?

Thanks!
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Split boards on deck-image_1429699013629.jpg   Split boards on deck-image_1429699025714.jpg  

Last edited by chipmb2985; 04-22-2015 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:55 AM   #2
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That's a natural process. There is no fixing them and it happens to every deck made with pressure treated lumber. You can replace the deck surface with composite decking which won't crack if it bothers you or really expensive heartwood western red cedar. Decks get attacked by two things, sun (UV) and water. The only way to truly make a significant difference in UV protections is by using a solid color stain. This will also protect against water. Don't use Thompson's waterseal. It does nothing for UV a can make it difficult to stain later. The UV is far more damaging than the water.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:20 AM   #3
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Power wash, dry and paint. As jimn01 mentioned, that's lumber and no real good fix.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeniorSitizen View Post
Power wash, dry and paint. As jimn01 mentioned, that's lumber and no real good fix.
Thanks all! I guess this is going to be a lot easier than I thought. Seems like the solid color would be the best bet. Hoping it seals up some of the splits.

It is okay to just add extra nails in the boards? It looks like for some reason a couple of the nails aren't catching anymore.

Some nails were used close to the edges of the board where the board is split.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:52 AM   #5
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Nails should not even have been used, 2-1/2 deck screws only.
Far less likley to pull out.
No way would I ever use paint or a soild stain on decking.
Works fine on railings.
You will hate yourself for doing it when the paint starts peeling of and it all needs to be sanded off to redo it.
There's been dozens of post on any DIY site asking how to get it all off so they can use a penitrating stain instead.
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Nails should not even have been used, 2-1/2 deck screws only.
Far less likley to pull out.
No way would I ever use paint or a soild stain on decking.
Works fine on railings.
You will hate yourself for doing it when the paint starts peeling of and it all needs to be sanded off to redo it.
There's been dozens of post on any DIY site asking how to get it all off so they can use a penitrating stain instead.
Thanks this is really helpful. I'll put in some additional 2-1/2 deck screws to properly secure the boards. Those Nails are tough to fully get it so i might just leave existing ones in.
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Old 04-26-2015, 06:27 AM   #7
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Have any of you ever used a cleaner before instead of powerwashing?

This Deck Brite stuff looks interesting.

http://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-160.../dp/B003RWE4XW
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Old 04-26-2015, 07:59 AM   #8
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I use similar products. Indeed if your deck is in good shape these can be preferable to pressure washing . Not matter how careful your are with the pressure washer you can damage the wood even it it only means you have lifted the surface a bit. Really old decks or decks in bad shape may benefit from pressure washing .
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipmb2985 View Post
Have any of you ever used a cleaner before instead of powerwashing?

This Deck Brite stuff looks interesting.

http://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-160.../dp/B003RWE4XW
If I were painting post cleaning I'd be certain the cleaner i used didn't contain any type of wax etc. That is common in some cleaners such as ZipWax car washing detergent. Great for cleaning and shine but not to paint over i suspect.

The word Deckbrite in the Rust-Oleum product makes my eye brows raise just a bit.
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:03 AM   #10
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On the split ends, put a nailer under the joint, drill the deck only and use 16 ga. spiral nails or screws. If nails are popping anywhere else, you need to drill a new nail hole. If you remove the deck, you will see that the old nail hole has been stripped out by weather. On a deck that width, you shouldn't use more than 1 nail each end. More nails, more obstruction to movement.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:39 AM   #11
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We all have our opinions and here's mine from the experience of building, repairing, and having a PT wooden deck: I do not use nails on wooden deck boards either, only screws. For cleaning I use a product called Tri-Sodium Phosphate, or TSP, to clean decks. I have also used any of the "Oxy-Clean" type products with good results. These are used with a good deck brush and a lot of elbow grease. Wooden decks can be cleaned using a pressure washer but--the trick is to NOT use a lot of pressure. My unit is a 4200 PSI unit but I turn it down to 900-1000 PSI to clean wooden decks. Higher pressures tend to hit the wood so hard that the wood fibers separate and leave a "fuzzy" material all over the deck when dried. I also do not like Thompson's Water Seal as it is a sort of mask to me, not a real preservative. There are many deck stains, coatings, and/or treatments out there. Go to your local store that you would buy a deck coating from, write down the brand name and any other pertinent info then do research on the product before buying anything. Your photos show a deck that has the decking boards laid on a bias, or 45 degrees. Those type decks look so much better to me.
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