There are several reasons why you may need to remove composite decking boards. You may need to replace rotten boards or resurface your current decking. Whichever the case is, you will need to be careful in removing the old decking boards. However, it may not be as easy as it may seem. If you’re not careful, you may damage the surrounding deck boards or the deck frame. So how to remove deck boards with nails? Can you remove nailed boards safely? 

Removing Nailed Deck Boards

There are several ways to remove old deck boards from a deck. If you are building an entirely new deck, you can remove it any way you can. However, there may be times that you only want to replace a few boards or resurface the deck. If the deck boards are still in good condition, you can also use them for other DIY projects. Here are some of the tips and ways you can try to remove the decking boards safely. 

Using Crowbars – The easiest way to remove decking boards is by using a crowbar and hammers. To make it easier, you can use two crowbars. First, gently pry the end of the decking board with one crowbar. Leave the first crowbar in place weighted down, then use the second crowbar to pry along the length. Alternate between the crowbars to lift the boards inch by inch, minimizing breaking. You can also use similar tools to lift gently the decking boards bit by bit, such as cat paws.

Start From the Bottom –  If you have an elevated deck, you may find it easier to remove the decking boards if you start from below. To do this, gently pry the decking boards until the nails come loose. Then, use a hammer or any other tool to ram the boards upward. Make sure not to exert too much force to prevent damage to the joists. 

Saw The Decking Boards – Another method is through sawing the boards using a circular saw. If the decking boards are long, you may find it harder to pry them up without damaging the surrounding decking boards or the substructure. To make it easier, measure the decking boards’ length and see it halfway. If you can’t still remove portions of the deck, you can saw the boards into even smaller sections and pry them piece by piece. If you are reusing the joist, you’ll want to make sure not to see them accidentally. Once cut, remove the boards gently using crowbars or prying tools. 

Using Special Tools – Another method you can try to remove the nailed boards is by using special tools designed to remove them. You can find several varieties online. These tools work similarly to pry bars but may differ slightly. A quick search on the web can give you a wide variety of these tools that you can use. 

Ask For Professional Help

remove deck boards with nails

If you are not confident enough to do the job, you can always hire professional workers to remove the deck for you. Not only do they have the tools to remove the boards safely, but they can also do it quickly. On average, it would only take a few hours to a day to remove an existing deck. 

If you are trying to replace the decking boards or reuse the frame, contractors can also help you identify any substructure problems. They can offer you suggestions and advice on how to proceed with your project. 

Alternatively, you can also try to DIY some work and let the more complicated task to contractors and professionals. Depending on how much skill and experience you have, you can save some money by doing a few things yourself.

What to Do Next?

After removing the old decking boards, there are several things you can do. You can reuse any wood that’s still in good condition. They may come in handy for your DIY projects. For instance, you make planter boxes and garden shelves for your garden. You can also turn them into tables, chairs, and picture frames. If the boards are no longer usable, you can throw and recycle them.

As for the deck, you can opt to resurface it with new and better materials. If you have been using wood, consider choosing synthetic decks instead, such as composite decking. Composite decks are resistant to splintering, rot, moisture, and fungi. They are also low-maintenance and long-lasting. If you are a fan of the rustic appearance of wood, you’ll like composites as well. They look natural and wood-like, unlike other synthetic materials. While they may be slightly more expensive than wood, their advantages make up for the added cost.