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How to Get Rusty Screws Out of a Wooden Deck

Updated January 10, 2019

Rusty screws can really slow down the work on your wooden deck if you don't know how to properly remove them. They often seem to get stuck just when you most need to make time on your project. To make matters worse, rust eats away at metal, making rusted screws more delicate than screws that have not been damaged. Knowing how to properly use a spray lubricant, force and even a drill can save you time and effort on your project.

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  1. Apply the spray lubricant liberally to the rusted deck screw. You want to apply enough so that it pools slightly near the head of the screw.

  2. Wait 30 to 45 minutes while the lubricant penetrates the rust on your deck screw. If you try to remove the screw too quickly, you are more likely to break your screw because the lubricant has not had the optimal amount of time to loosen it.

  3. Position your screwdriver into the head of the screw, and pound the head of the screwdriver with a hammer. This will help to further loosen your screw.

  4. Attempt to tighten the screw slightly before beginning to unscrew it with your screwdriver. This may further loosen rust and make removing the screw much easier.

  5. Use a drill to remove any stubborn screws. Choose a drill bit that is big enough to drill out the head. Once you have drilled out the head, use a slightly smaller drill bit that is just big enough to drill out the body of the screw.

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Things You'll Need

  • Spray lubricant like WD-40
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • Drill bits

About the Author

Anne Kinsey is a writer, business woman, minister and coach who is passionate about inspiring others to walk out their career dreams and believe in possibilities. She resides in rural North Carolina with her husband and three children, where they enjoy the great outdoors and serve at-risk youth together.

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