Repairing a Rotting Deck

By Robert Robillard on Decks And Porches

Wood Deck Repair

Repairing a Rotting Deck: at Henry David Thoreau’s Historic Home Day 2 involved addressing the rotted corner board and damaged clapboards. the corner boards were removed back to the nearest joint. Although sometimes necessary, I dislike installing small or short patches of trim and always opt for breaking boards back to the nearest joint if possible.

We attempted to slip strips of tar paper under the claps to provide better weather moisture protection.  these continuous strips or overlapping strips are integral to keeping moisture from getting into the building envelope.  water easily gets into long seams at corner-boards and this flashing method lets the water drain down and out of the building.

Rubber flashing, lead flashing and more rubber covered the aluminum drip edge along the deck ledger board.

Corner boards and claps installed.

1″ heavy duty cedar lattice was installed along the bottom perimeter of the deck. Galvanized staples were used to fasten the lattice.

Azek PVC 1×8 joist trim and 1×4 lower skirt trim were applied.   Corners were mitered and glued with Azek PVC glue. White stainless steel nails and stainless steel finish nails were used.  We like using the white nails because they blend nicely.

Tomorrow the decking will be applied and fastened.  We try to install all wood decking with a minimum of 1/4-inch spacing to allow drainage and also facilitate airflow and drying under the deck.

When doing any deck repair like this, take the time to inspect for safety issues  and make necessary deck maintenance corrections by retrofitting safety hardware to make your deck safer and bring it more in line with code compliance.

~ concord carpenter

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor / Writer / Video Talent

Robert Robillard is a general contractor, carpenter and operates a remodeling company located in Concord, MA. He is the editor of and ToolBoxBuzz, and a has a weekly column in the Sunday Boston Globe. Rob is a recognized leader in tool and how-to information for building professionals, he hosts the Concord Carpenter Cable TV Show, offering advice on home repairs and maintenance. On his website, Rob uses his knowledge and experience to help and educate on best practices in the remodeling industry. His motto: “Well done is better than well said!”. Contact Rob at:

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