old deck boards going out...new ones going in

Old 07-15-22, 10:39 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: State of Washington
Posts: 222
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Question old deck boards going out...new ones going in

Our 25 year old 5/4x4 nailed in deck boards are going to be replaced with 5/4x6 screwed in boards. 1. I sealed the bottom of the old deck boards prior to nailing them in. Is this a good or bad idea for the new boards? 2. Pilot holes. 2 yeas ago my husband built 2 fences in our yard. He found that pilot holes were the only way to make things easier. I have now been reading about clearance holes for the deck boards. I think the idea makes sense however my husband isn't sold on the idea. Are clearance holes a good idea or bad? 3. Drill and bits. We have a basic Hitachi drill. I have read, again, that an impact drill is better and saves your hands and wrists from tiring out too soon. Agree or disagree? And finally bits. We want to use quality bits. Any recommendations? Thanks for any advice you can throw my way.
Old 07-16-22, 12:18 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,100
Received 3,982 Upvotes on 3,574 Posts
The drive bits you use are determined by the type of screw you choose.
Some are a hex/square drive or possibly a type of Philips head that Deckmate screws use.

Coating the bottom of the deck board sounds like a good idea.
I've never pre-drilled holes when I've helped install decks.
Old 07-16-22, 01:35 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,683
Received 840 Upvotes on 737 Posts
I generally don't seal the bottom of a deck unless it's visible. My thinking is when the stain above fails it could trap moisture in the board. I've also never predrilled the holes on decking.
Old 07-18-22, 06:13 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 6,396
Received 63 Upvotes on 55 Posts
Pilot holes helps prevent checking.
Old 07-18-22, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 4,463
Received 128 Upvotes on 113 Posts
There is no need to space them out, once they dry out there will be spaces.
Coating both sides will help to lessen the checking because it allows even drying .
An impact driver will make this job easier and faster.
When buying the bit, look on the label for impact rated.
I've never predrilled.
Old 07-18-22, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,505
Received 351 Upvotes on 294 Posts
Invest in a good quality impact driver and star bits. Two batteries are better than one if the budget allows. I don't like phillips because there are too many spin outs with an impact driver. I don't pre drill because the deck screws I have used are self starting.
Old 07-18-22, 10:13 AM
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Ct.,USA
Posts: 3,237
Received 302 Upvotes on 267 Posts
When you use a screw to compress two boards together, compression is difficult if the screw cuts threads in the first board it enters. Best to have the correct size clearance hole in the first board. If the new boards are made from a composite, follow manufactures recommended spacing in both directions.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title: