How to Get Rid of the Cracks in a New Deck

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Repair cracked decks to restore the surface.
Repair cracked decks to restore the surface. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

New decks are a source of pride for many homeowners. Cracked lumber on a new deck brings about disappointment and is an eyesore. Deck cracking is also a hazard to bare feet. The edges of the crack splinter and may end up piercing through the skin. Typically, deck surfaces crack because the wood is overly dry. Repairing deck cracks and preventing new cracks from forming is necessary for a safe and visually appealing deck.

Things You'll Need

  • Laundry detergent or deck cleaner
  • Broom
  • Bucket
  • Garden hose
  • Two-part epoxy putty
  • Putty knife
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • Eye protection
  • Gloves

Mix 2 tbsp. liquid laundry detergent with 1 gallon of water in your bucket. Dip a broom in the water and scrub the surface of the deck to remove dirt and debris. Use a scrub brush to scrub the recesses of the cracked wood. Spray the deck thoroughly with water from a garden hose to remove the soap residue. You can also clean the deck with a commercially available deck cleaner. Let the deck dry completely.

Remove loose pieces of splintered wood from the cracks by hand.

Mix two-part epoxy wood-filler according to the manufacturer's directions. Use a putty knife to blend equal amounts of the two parts of the putty kit to create a moldable, clay-like consistency.

Press epoxy filler into the cracks with a putty knife and build up the epoxy filler so it sits just above the deck's surface. Let the epoxy filler dry until it is hard.

Sand the surface of the epoxy with 100-grit sandpaper until it is smooth and level with the rest of the deck. Sweep up the sanding dust and discard it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Apply a water sealer and wood protector to the deck to protect the deck from the elements and help prevent cracking.
  • Wear gloves and eye protection when filling deck cracks.
  • If a decking board has cracks more than halfway through, replace the board.

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References

  • "Home Repair and Improvement"; Creative Homeowner Editors; 2006
  • ”The Book of Skills and Tools"; Family Handyman Magazine Editors; 1993
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