How to repair cracks in the wood on my deck

Written by cheryl torrie
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How to repair cracks in the wood on my deck
Repair unsightly and dangerous cracks in your wooden decking. (EJ-J/iStock/Getty Images)

Constant exposure to moisture and heat causes wood deck boards to crack. The wood gets wet, soaks up the water, expands and then drys out, contracting and shrinking, causing cracks in the surface of the wood. Repairing the cracks and sealing the wood every two years is a sound alternative to replacing the entire deck. The cost of the repairs to the wood in your deck is minor when you consider the safety of you and your family.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Garden sprayer
  • Deck wash and brightener
  • Broom
  • Pressure washer
  • Putty knife
  • Latex wood filler
  • Deck sealer
  • Nail puller
  • 13 cm screws

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Instructions

    Repair small cracks

  1. 1

    Fill a plastic garden sprayer with deck wash and brightener and spray the entire deck with the cleanser.

  2. 2

    Scrub the deck with a steady pressure applied to a broom against the wood decking. Allow the cleanser to work at removing the accumulated dirt, stains and discolouration for 15 minutes.

  3. 3

    Spray the entire deck with the spray from a pressure washer, attached to your garden hose, to remove the chemicals in the cleanser from the boards.

  4. 4

    With a putty knife, fill any cracks in the wood that are under 10 cm in length with a latex wood filler that is formulated for outdoor application and will not shrink, crack or flake when exposed to rain and sun.

  5. 5

    Allow the deck to dry completely.

  6. 6

    Fill the sprayer with deck sealer and apply a heavy coat of sealer to the entire deck. This will reduce the rate that the wood absorbs water, which causes the expansion and contraction that causes cracks. Allow the sealer to dry completely before replacing the patio furniture and using it.

    Repair larger cracks

  1. 1

    Place the prongs of a nail puller beneath the head of the nails holding the board in place, and apply pressure to the other end of the nail puller to pull them out.

  2. 2

    Lift the entire length of the board with the cracked section from the decking frame.

  3. 3

    Secure a new piece of wood that has been cut to length to the deck frame with wood screws at all the frame joints.

  4. 4

    Fill a plastic garden sprayer with deck wash and brightener and spray the entire deck with the cleanser. Scrub the deck with a steady pressure applied to a broom against the wood decking. Allow the cleanser to work at removing the accumulated dirt, stains and discolouration for 15 minutes. Allow the deck to dry completely.

  5. 5

    Fill the sprayer with deck sealer and apply a heavy coat of sealer to the entire deck. Allow the sealer to dry completely before replacing the patio furniture and using it.

Tips and warnings

  • Consider staining the deck before sealing it to match the repairs to the wood that is not being repaired or replaced.

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