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Discussion Starter #1
Last week we built a brand new 10x16 deck onto the back of my house, we spent the extra $ and went with western red wood cedar. I had no idea we were supposed to use screws and the hardwood store sold us galvanized nails..electroplated, not hot-dipped! I had a carpenter in to do the railings who mentioned the nails would turn black now that I research it seems to be a big no-no. Is it worth taking all boards off at this point? There are no rails up yet, I hate for my cedar to blacken...I read I could use a nail puller has anyone done this? I tried a mallot last night tapping boards from underneath and only 1 nail stayed in, the other 2 came right through the cedar. (4 ft under deck so easy access) Maybe a crow bar is better? Not sure if its worth the time...any suggestions/opinions appreciated! Oh, the boards are staggered and the longest 12 ft has about 36 nails in it :( do the math...i cant afford to replace 1/2 the boards either.
 

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If the galvanized nails were hot dipped and you don’t live in a salt environment like the coast I’d say don’t mess with it. In this case you probably should. If you leave a piece of steel on Red Cedar over night you will have a black mark impression of whatever it was in the morning. Steel and Cedar don't mix.

I would not use a nail puller, you’ll just mess up the Cedar.

I’d either pry up, beat up from the bottom, sawzall nails from the bottom side, whatever it takes to gently get the boards up without damaging them. Then beat the nails back through the other side.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I live in Halifax about 1 km from the ocean...sounds like I should take my time over the next few weeks and get this done right. Any reccomendations for the sawzall ? Is it easy to get in between board and frame?
 

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It is if you pry, or beat the boards up a little first.

Get a few new blades.

Don’t let railing guy bury you so you cant get them out.
 

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One more thing, if your only a mile off the ocean use Stainless Steel Screws.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If I use the sawzall then part of the nail will be stuck in the pressure treated so I won't be able to re-use the nail holes for my screws in the cedar...or there is a good chance I would hit the end of the nail, how would I get around this?

We were told to use brass coated screws but we ended up buying the 'cedar' screws from home depot...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Also should the deck boards be completely dry? We tried when they were wet and the nails came right through instead of staying in the board.
 

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Cedar is very soft. Probably most of your nails will pull through the boards if you bang up from the bottom. And a puller will certainly tear up cedar.
 

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If the nails get cut flush just hit them with a nail punch from the bottom till you can grab the head with some pliers.

It's ok if the nails pull through as long as the hole you just made is not to big for screw to grab.

Wet or dry doesn't matter unless wet means your tracking mud all over the place.
 
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