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I bought a house with large raised deck, and the home inspector told me that I need to replace all of the screws with no shear screws, and that since they used screws originally, I cannot use nails now. I've found no-shear screws that look like they were intended for the braces used on the deck. These screws appear to be just slightly thicker, which seems good to ensure a tight fit, but they are not as long as the screws currently in the deck. Will this cause issues or instability? Do I need to use no-shear screws that are both wider and as long or longer than the screws currently in the deck?

Finally, is there any chance that they used appropriate screws originally (pictures included)? How could I determine this?

**Update I've added another image showing where these are located. They are the only connectors for the horizontal supports directly under the deck surface and run from the house to a set of posts on the other side of the deck. The connector on the other side rests on the posts and these are attached to that piece. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions so far!

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  • Could you provide a picture of these shear strength rated screws and at least a full specification. I would like to look them up. Personally I think it would be irrelevant that the current screws are longer than the new ones – Jim Stewart May 8 '17 at 17:43
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    I'm confused by what I'm seeing. I've never used hangers in a pass-through situation like that. What are they hanging on? – isherwood May 8 '17 at 17:50
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    I agree with isherwood - those hangers look to me as though they're being used incorrectly. You can even see in the last picture where one of the screws has gone in skew and is barely holding on to anything. – brhans May 8 '17 at 20:47
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Chances are you only need to replace the screws that mount the hanger to the ledger. The screws that go diagonally through the joists aren't in shear and should be fine.

I'd think that no-shear screws of the same size (#8?) as the original screws would do, and hanger nails are typically only 1-1/2" long anyway, so that they penetrate the joist that they're hanging from. Here is Simpson Strong-tie's offering.

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    Wouldn't the instructions for the connectors specify the type and size of the screws for a given application? If the instructions say #9, then you cannot use #8, right? If the instructions say #8, then I don't think you can use #9. What is the problem with using a self drilling #9 in a hole previously occupied by a #8? The use of other than the specified screws is completely unacceptable given collapses of decks have occurred with profoundly tragic loss of life. Before installing them get confirmation from the inspector that the new screws are acceptable. – Jim Stewart May 8 '17 at 19:48
  • Change all the screws to the specified screw and confirm beforehand with the inspector. – Jim Stewart May 8 '17 at 19:54
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    There are no "instructions" with a hanger. The fastener called for depends on the use case. As for the diagonal screws, It's a safe bet that no deck has ever collapsed due to those failing. If there's enough lateral force to pull a joist out of the hanger, the grain of the lumber will tear out before the screws in that photo will fail. Also, Simpson doesn't even supply a screw for that scenario. It would be overkill. – isherwood May 8 '17 at 20:55
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    No, the friction isn't a factor. In reality, hangers are often used at both ends of the joist, and that friction wouldn't be a reliable consideration at both ends. It's the penetration of the diagonal nails that lends to the load rating. – isherwood May 9 '17 at 13:23
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    @JimStewart I think pictures 1 & 2 may be deceiving - I accidentally chose the one place on the deck where the brace is attached to separate pieces of wood on either side. The others attach like in the linked document. So the majority of the braces attach to a continuous ledger. – Volvox May 15 '17 at 23:27

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