Hot Topics: Deck Nail Removal

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Original Post: Having problems removing nails from my deck.

kathyc43 Member

When we remove the decking boards, the nails don't come out with the boards. Can I just bend them over the side with a hammer instead of removing each one?

Highlights from the Thread

Pilot Dane Group Moderator

That depends on what you want to do. If you are dismantling the deck then there is no need to remove them. If you are going to install new deck boards I would pull the nails so your new boards can rest flat on the joists. Even hammering nails over some bit of them usually ends up sticking above the wood.

kathyc43 Member

There are several rows of deck boards, each replaced at different times for some reason. This row was in poor condition so we are replacing it. My friend is taking up the old boards, which crumble as they are pried up, leaving the nails behind. I try to remove them but they are very difficult to remove.

stickshift Group Moderator

They will need to be removed. What tool are you using to do this?

kathyc43 Member

I am using a claw hammer to remove the nails.

aka pedro Member

Claws on a hammer are there for convenience, and are not necessarily the best choice when pulling nails is the primary task. Stop by your local hardware or big box and ask them to point you toward flat bars. They have a long and a short leg, each with a slot to pull nails. Once you have that in hand, you may find that a short piece of the scrap wood makes a good fulcrum to place under the bar and increase your leverage.

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