So you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to renovate that old deck. Maybe you’re looking to sell or just moved in and realize how bad those old boards need some TLC. Either way, here are some tips and things to consider before starting your DIY deck removal.
Decide it’s fate.
Ask yourself if you need to just repair or entirely replace your deck. Consider things like the state and look of the boards.
- Is there weather damage?
- Is it stable?
- Are more than half the boards salvageable?
Often times, replacing a few boards does the trick. But if you are looking to sell your home or if the deck is too old and rotting, a complete overhaul is both safer and increases the value of your home.
Inspect the deck well.
Before you start any renovations, it is important to have a complete idea of what’s ahead. Look for any signs of damage such as:
- Dry rot : spongy, discolored wood that may flake off and fall apart when wet. When dry, the wood could easily crack and crumble into fine particles.
- Weather (water) damage: wood that is splitting, curling, warping and cracking
- Mold and mildew growth
- Loose railings: signs of weak points in the structure
- Signs of insect damage: termites
Clean your deck before you start pulling.
Remove everything from above and below your deck including furniture, BBQ grills, plants, and area mats. This is important for a few reasons. For one, you want to inspect the deck in entirety to uncover any hidden damage underneath furniture. Also, pulling up boards will release dust, mold spores, and dirt into the air, which would land on any surfaces left on the deck. This can be dangerous to touch or inhale. Keep that in mind to wipe down and sweep often.
Be patient with the teardown.
The next steps are the actual teardown and should be done so with patience and attention to detail. Work your way from one end of the deck to the other. Make sure you have plenty of space to move around in, as well as space to pile your materials. You should organize piles of materials that are salvageable, re-usable or trashed. Pro-tip: Clean as you go! Always keep your tools and trash bag within arms reach.
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