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Author Topic: Removing decking - best method, tools etc.  (Read 1836 times)


  • Joined Jul 2011
  • NW Devon
Removing decking - best method, tools etc.
« on: March 06, 2014, 10:00:12 am »
We have a couple of areas of decking, one of which we want to keep but a much larger area we want to rip up. Thing is, I want to save as much of the timber as I can. So, what's the best method or tool for getting this up? As I understand it, decking is usually held together with those grippy nail things. I'd rather save all the timber, but if I have to sacrifice any, it'd be the 4*2 supports.
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Removing decking - best method, tools etc.
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 10:30:57 am »
Hi Mike. Depending on the quality of the original build, decking can be screwed planks rather than nailed. The screws are specially treated and expensive- I know because that's what I use on coop chassis and run frameworks. The idea I suppose is that when the wood rots it can be easily replaced. That's why I use them anyway. Or perhaps it stops them working loose.

But if it is nailed it is like removing floor boarding. You can either drive the nails down with a special round punch or carefully lever them up, knock the nails through and pull them out with pliers. It depends on the head of the nail. Floor boarding nails should be almost headless. Once the first plank is up subsequent planks can be knocked out with a lump hammer from underneath. Unless the nails have rusted into the beams, the planks will come up with the nails. It helps removal of the nails afterwards if they are not bent during the process. Or you can use a crowbar, but in my experience the planks split that way.

Grippy nails are just harder work to remove and usually pull through the planking. They are fired in with a gun and inevitably you will wreck a lot of planks. If the wood is that important to save lift the boards a few mm and cut through the nails with a hacksaw blade pulled, not pushed - a very slow job indeed!


  • Joined Jul 2011
  • NW Devon
Re: Removing decking - best method, tools etc.
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2014, 01:34:43 pm »
thanks Chris, I has assumed they were nail gunned down, shall have a closer look and see if they are screwed.

Dreich Pete

  • Joined Jan 2014
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Removing decking - best method, tools etc.
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2014, 01:59:12 pm »
Excellent response, Chris. I have some decking that needs to be lifted and relaid because it was laid with absolutely no run-off and currently holds water in the grooves.  I'll revisit this thread again before getting into it.


  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: Removing decking - best method, tools etc.
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2014, 06:59:38 pm »
its not usually nail gunned the industry standard is screws, although not everyone follows it!!!

getting the 2x4's apart will depend how they are assembled but a good wrecking bar a lump hammer and a bit of sweat should see you right either way, usually if your careful you can salvage a good 80% (you always break some)


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