How to Remove Old Deck Screws


When removing or remodeling an outdoor deck, screws present a challenge to remove due to rust and corrosion built up on the screw's surface and shaft. Old deck screws are susceptible to breaking in two, bending, stripping and fusing. Since outdoor decks are exposed to the elements, you may also find mold and mildew surrounding the old deck screws, especially if your deck is not treated.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips head, flat head or power screwdriver
  • Work gloves
  • Nose mask
  • Trashcan
  • Crowbar or hammer
  • Ice pick

Removing Old Screws

  • Use a Phillips head, flat head or power screwdriver to back out any old deck screws from the deck's boards that do not contain stripped heads. Wear work gloves to protect your hands. If mold or mildew is present, wear a nose mask.

  • Place the old deck screws in a trashcan. Work in sections if the deck is large.

  • Repeat steps until all of the old screws are removed.

Removing Stripped Screws

  • Place a flat head screwdriver under the head of the old deck screw to pry it up enough to access the screw's shaft if the screw's head is stripped.

  • Use a crowbar or hammer to pull the stripped screw from the deck's board.

  • Place the old deck screws in a trashcan. Repeat steps until all of the stripped screws are removed.

Removing Fused and Broken Screws

  • Place a crowbar underneath the side of the deck board containing any old screws that are fused or broken. Pull the board slowly up to free the fused/broken screw.

  • Hammer the end of the screw to push it up from the underside of the board. Use a crowbar to pull the top of the old screw from the board.

    If the screw is broken, stick an ice pick on the end of the screw. Hammer the ice pick into the screw until the broken screw is free from the board.

  • Place the old deck screws in a trashcan. Repeat steps until all of the fused or broken screws are removed.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also use a screw removal tool to remove stripped screws from your deck. Screw removal tools are available for purchase at hardware and home improvement stores as well as online.

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  • Photo Credit rusty screws image by Carlos Caetano from
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