How to Pull up Deck Boards

A deck is an essential part of any home and a perfect place to relax and unwind. But when the deck boards start to deteriorate, it’s time to replace them. 

How to Pull Up Deck Boards

This involves pulling up the old boards first, which can be daunting if you’re unfamiliar with the process. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through how to pull up deck boards without damaging the structure.

Can You Pull up Deck Boards?

Deck boards are an essential part of any deck’s structure. But what if you need to replace or repair a damaged board? The good news is that you can pull up deck boards! However, it’s certainly not a simple task. It requires some strength, skill, and the right tools. You’ll need a pry bar, a circular saw, and a drill.

And you’ll need to be careful not to damage the surrounding boards while removing the damaged ones. But with patience and care, you can successfully remove and replace a damaged deck board, giving your deck the repair it needs.

Why Should You Pull up Deck Boards?

If you are a homeowner who enjoys spending time outdoors, you know how important it is to maintain your deck. Over time, sun and moisture can cause deck boards to warp, crack, and rot. One effective way to check the condition of your deck is to pull up the boards and assess what’s going on beneath the surface. This allows you to inspect the frame, joists, and any other support structures that may be hidden from view. 

Check the Condition of Your Deck

By examining these essential components, you can identify issues before they become major problems, potentially saving you thousands of dollars in future repairs.

Additionally, if you’re planning to add to your deck, install new lighting, or run wiring underneath, pulling up deck boards may be necessary to achieve your desired outcome. Ultimately, taking the time to pull up deck boards can help you ensure your outdoor living space’s safety, longevity, and aesthetic appeal.

How to Pull up Deck Boards – in 7 Easy Steps

Step 1. Gather the Necessary Tools

Before you start pulling up the deck boards, you need to gather the essential tools. These tools include a pry bar, a hammer, work gloves, safety glasses, and a reciprocating saw. The pry bar and hammer will help you remove the nails or screws holding the deck boards in place. You can use the reciprocating saw to cut through any stubborn nails or screws that won’t release from the deck joists.

Step 2. Loosen the Deck Boards

Using your pry bar, gently pry the boards from the deck joists on one end of the board. Use the pry bar on both ends of the board to loosen it from the deck. Make sure not to damage the surrounding deck structure and framework. You may need to use the hammer to persuade stubborn boards out of place. If you are dealing with a particularly tight board, like a tongue and groove board, you can use a circular saw to cut it into smaller sections to make it easier to remove.

Step 3. Remove the Screws or Nails

With the deck board loose, you can now remove any screws or nails holding it in place. Use the hammer or pry bar to gently remove any fasteners so that the board becomes free from the frame. Make sure you collect all the screws and nails as you go to avoid any safety hazards.

Remove Any Screws or Nails

Step 4. Clean the Deck

After you’ve removed all the old deck boards, it’s time to clean up. Use a broom or leaf blower to remove all debris on the deck surface before installing the new deck boards. This will ensure that the new deck boards sit flat and the joists are free from debris.

Step 5. Install the New Deck Boards

Once your deck is clean and prepped, installing the new deck boards is time. Make any necessary cuts to accommodate the size of your deck, and secure the new deck boards with screws or nails in the same location as the original boards. Always use treated lumber for deck board replacements, as it is resistant to water damage and insect infestation.

Step 6. Seal the Deck Boards

It is important to seal your new deck boards before you use them. This helps protect the wood from weathering and rotting, as well as prevent any splinters or warping. You can purchase a deck sealer from your local hardware store and apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 7. Enjoy Your New Deck!

Once the boards are installed and sealed, you can now enjoy your new deck! Make sure to clean it regularly and inspect it for signs of wear or any damage that may need to be repaired. With proper maintenance, your deck should last you for many years of enjoyment.

That’s it! You’ve now learned how to pull up deck boards and install new ones. Be sure to use the proper safety equipment and take all the necessary precautions when working with tools around your home. Have fun!

5 Considerations Things When You Need to Pull up Deck Boards

1. The Size of the Boards

The first thing you need to consider when pulling up deck boards is the size of the boards. You will need to ensure that you have the right tools for the job and enough space to store the boards once they have been removed.

2. The Condition of the Boards

Another thing to consider is the condition of the boards. If the boards are in good condition, you may be able to reuse them. However, if the boards are in poor condition, you may need to replace them.

Condition of the Boards

3. The Type of Wood

The type of wood is another important consideration. Some woods are more difficult to work with than others, and you will need to make sure that you have the right tools for the job.

4. The Number of Boards

Another thing to consider is the number of boards that you need to remove. If you only need to remove a few boards, you may be able to do it yourself. However, if you need to remove a large number of boards, you may need to hire a professional.

5. The Cost

The cost of removing deck boards is another important consideration. You will need to factor in the cost of tools, as well as any disposal fees that may be associated with removing the boards.

5 Benefits of Pull-up Deck Boards

1. Increased Home Value

One of the primary benefits of installing pull-up deck boards is that they can increase the value of your home. A deck is a great addition to any home and one that is sure to add value. If you are planning on selling your home in the future, a deck can be a great selling point.

2. More Living Space

Another benefit of installing a deck is that it provides you with additional living space. A deck can be a great place to entertain guests or simply relax outdoors. If you have a small yard, a deck can help to maximize your outdoor space.

Another Benefit of Installing a Deck

3. Easy to Install

Pull-up deck boards are also very easy to install. Unlike traditional wood decks requiring extensive planning and construction, pull-up decks can be installed quickly and easily. Most pull-up decks come in pre-assembled panels that simply need to be attached to your existing deck or patio.

4. Low Maintenance

Pull-up decks are also very low maintenance. Unlike traditional wood decks requiring regular sealing and staining, pull-up decks are virtually maintenance-free. Once your pull-up deck is installed, you will not need to worry about sealants or stains for many years to come.

5. Durable

Pull-up decks are also very durable. Unlike traditional wood decks, which can rot, warp, and splinter over time, pull-up decks are made from composite materials that will not rot, warp, or splinter. Composite materials are also resistant to insect damage and mold growth, making them ideal for use in areas where traditional wood decks would not last long.

Some Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Pull up Deck Boards

When it comes to maintaining a deck, one of the most frustrating tasks can be pulling up deck boards. Whether you’re trying to replace a damaged board or simply looking to improve the appearance of your deck, this process can be quite challenging, particularly if you don’t have the right tools or technique. One of the most common mistakes people make when trying to pull up deck boards is incorrectly using a hammer or pry bar. 

While these tools can be useful, they also have the potential to cause damage to your deck boards if you’re not careful. Another mistake to avoid is pulling up too many boards at once. This can put unnecessary stress on the deck structure and lead to further damage down the line. By taking your time and using the right tools and techniques, you can pull up deck boards without causing unnecessary damage.


Pulling up deck boards may require some effort, but it’s essential to ensure the deck’s longevity and safety. Remember to use the right tools, be gentle with the deck framework, and clean up after yourself. Following these tips will help you properly remove the deck boards and make way for a new and improved deck. Thanks for reading our post about how to pull up deck boards.

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Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

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