How Do You Hide the Ends of Composite Decking
There are several ways to install composite decking boards. Many people make use of nails and screws for wood decks. As composite boards have grooves, these are fastened to the subframe with the use of hidden fasteners. These are composed of clips inserted into the grooves on each side of composite decking boards which are fastened to the subframe to securely hold the boards in place.
Installing hidden fasteners is quick and effortless, however removing them can be tricky and challenging. If you’re not careful, you can end up leaving permanent damage to the decking frame. If you wish to reuse the removed decking boards and to minimise damage. Below are some tips on how best to remove deck boards with hidden fasteners?
Removing Clips/Hidden Fasteners
When comes to removing the clips or hidden fasteners with composite decking, how to do it will all depend on the clip you have chosen. For example the above image shows clips being removing using a drill, this is when you have used a plastic clip or ultra clip.
The reason you can do this is you are able to access the screw using a drill and drill bit, you can access the screw as your drill bit is able to fit in between the boards and you can simple drill along every 300mm and lift the board.
The issue upon removing composite decking boards comes when you have used a slim clip or 3mm clip, why? this is due to you are unable to access the screw, as this is completely hidden and normal is under the decking board installed.
At this stage you maybe thinking why use them in the first place? believe it or not these are the must popular clips and the reason is due to the overall finish they provide. Using a hidden fasteners leaves minimal gaps side to side and provides a seamless finish to your decking area. The downside is if you need to lift them in the future.
To lift composite decking boards that have been installed with a slim clip or 3mm clip can be done three ways, One is simple remove the edging and unclip every boards, now this can be a nightmare if the board you want to get to is in the middle or even worse you cant get the screw out, so in this case what do you do?
Remove the Boards By Cutting
One of the quickest ways to remove decking boards attached with hidden fasteners is by cutting them. While you are sawing the boards into pieces, you may still be able to use the cut boards on other DIY projects. Here are the steps to do it, along with how to replace it with new decking boards.
The first step is to measure the decking boards’ width. Then, mark 1/3 of the measurement from both ends of the decking boards, making two parallel lines. You can use a chalk line to make a straight line through the entire board’s length.
For the next step, you will need to know the decking boards’ thickness for reference. Then, start cutting along the parallel lines in your decking board using a circular saw. The reason you want to know how thick the boards are is to avoid cutting through the joists. You’ll want to make sure you’re only sawing the decking boards and not the decking frame.
After making the parallel cut, take out the centrepiece using a prying tool. Next, remove one end of the board that’s attached without the hidden fastener. As for the side with the fastening clip, you will need to unscrew it first if you can reach it. If not, gently pry and pull it upwards until you can access the screw, or it pops out. In case when the screw breaks, it’s best to drive it flush into the wood with a hammer.
This and the following steps involve replacing the removed decking boards. First, you will want to secure a neighbouring board not supported by a clip. Then you will need to drill composite decking screws at a 45-degree angle, driving them through the board and the joist.
Next, insert the new decking boards into the adjacent hidden clip. You can use a crowbar to push the decking boards into the fasteners, making the decking boards fit tightly. If possible, use a decking board with only one groove.
After inserting the boards, make sure to position them perfectly, minding the decking board gaps. Lastly, drive decking screws to the surface. If you are using decking boards with grooves on both sides, you’ll want to make sure not to drill through the side grooves. Doing so will crack and damage the decking boards. And that’s it.
Removing Decking Boards Without Cutting
There may be times that you will want to remove the decking boards without damaging them. While it is possible, it is more time-consuming than the previous method. In a few cases, it may not be entirely possible. Regardless, here are the steps if you want to try.
For this method, you will need to unscrew all the hidden fastener clips on both sides of the decking board you want to remove. You can find several guides on how to do this. However, it may be more challenging if the screws are damaged.
You will also need to remove the first few fasteners from the two or three adjacent decking boards. By doing so, you can slightly push the decks away from the board you will extract, giving you more space to work around.
Once the decking board is loose, gently and slightly pry it at one end without removing the entire board. Use a crowbar or a thin piece of material to lift the board a little and set it in place.
Then, slide all the hidden fasteners out of the decking boards. Once removed, remove the decking board. To replace them, you will need to do the same thing in reverse. Place the new decking board slightly lifted using a crowbar. Then, slide the decking clips into position. Lastly, secure them with composite decking screws.