What should be used to fill the screw holes on a deck?

Written by heather robson | 13/05/2017

An outdoor deck can add beauty to your home along with square footage for outdoor living and entertaining. To give your deck a polished and professional look, you'll want to fill in any holes left by erroneously placed screws as well as the small gaps above screws that you have countersunk into the deck. This step, thought not necessary for the structural integrity of your deck, will give the finished deck a clean, uniform look.

Decide on Material

The material you use to fill the holes in your deck depends on the materials you used to build your deck. Use a filling material that is similar to the material you used to construct the deck. If you built your deck out of wood, plugs made from sawdust left over from building are well suited to the task. If you built your deck out of a composite material, an epoxy filler might work better.

Pick a Strategy

The strategy you choose depends on your personal preference. Some filling strategies, such as using wood putty, are easy to accomplish but may not give the look you want. As a solution, they may also require more maintenance because they may work loose over time. Here are the best strategies and materials to choose from.

For plastic or composite decking, use an epoxy filler to fill screw holes. Mix the epoxy with thinner and use a syringe to fill the holes. Allow the epoxy to dry, then sand it so that it is flush with the deck. Wear a mask while sanding because the epoxy dust is dangerous to breathe in.

To fill holes in wood decking the easy way, use wood putty. Use a putty knife to fill each hole with putty. Try to keep the wood putty even with the surface of the deck. Allow the putty to dry, then sand it smooth and stain it the same colour as the deck.

For a more permanent solution that more closely matches the colour of the deck, mix sawdust made from the deck materials with a small amount of wood glue--just enough to dampen the sawdust--and use that mixture to fill the holes. Allow the glue and sawdust to dry, then sand it until it’s even with the deck.

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