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My deck caught fire and now I need to replace the burnt parts. From what I can tell, I need to pry up the deck boards to access the burnt joist. Then replace the decking that was damaged on top.

Is there a better way? From what I can tell the decking is nailed down every 16-18 inches and pulling the nails out far enough back to access the joist seems like it's going to be quite a chore.

No problem if that's the best solution, just want to be sure before I invest time and money. Also, want to prevent further damage where I can.

2 Answers 2


Left the barbecue on too long?

Of course the middle deck boards need to go, but you have the option of splicing the joist.

What you need is a 6 foot piece of the same material, screws and some good construction glue - the kind that comes in a caulking tube, not a squeeze bottle. PL-400 is good stuff.

Cut the new board into 2 x 3 foot lengths, apply glue generously, and sandwich the damaged section between them. Screw in from each side. No need for many or massive screws - that's what the glue is for.

Optional: chisel out the burnt section - makes the smell of freshly burnt deck go away faster. Paint the newly-exposed wood so it doesn't absorb water.

It may be possible to do all of this from underneath the deck, so you won't need to remove more than the damaged boards.

  • 3
    I agree, but I'd simply use the 6' joist patch on one side. If one was enough before, one and a half are more than good enough now. It won't look so clunky from above and below, too.
    – isherwood
    Sep 26, 2016 at 13:06
  • Ok, I spoke with a local contractor/home inspector that gave a free consultation. He said that sistering a joist was just fine as stated in this response. Thanks guys! Sep 26, 2016 at 16:47

I think the answer that includes "use glue" is a joke? Sistering in a joist using glue and screws will compromise the intended weight-carrying capacity of that joist, as the "sistered" boards aren't connected to the ledger or the header by a joist hanger. When you sell this place, you will appreciate the time you put into, yes, it's a chore, pulling up all the deck sheathing and properly replacing the joist.

  • Hmm...conflicting statements but yours makes. I don't want it to be unsafe, just trying to do it right without over complicating. Sep 26, 2016 at 15:24
  • I can get under the deck, any way to replace it without pulling up the boards that you recommend? Sep 26, 2016 at 15:44
  • No joke, sistering is a common repair technique for damaged joists. Sep 27, 2016 at 0:14

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