How to Replace Stripped Deck Screws

Stripped deck screws cannot be removed with ordinary screwdrivers and therefore should be removed using a different technique. When replacing deck boards, it is necessary to remove the old screws and replace them with new ones as the new boards are installed. Sometimes, the deck screws also need to be removed because they are not fastened to the boards correctly. Whether it is for deck board repair or replacement, it is important to remove and replace the screws properly.

Tools and Materials

  • Drill
  • Screw extractor bit
  • Screwdriver bit
  • Deck screws
  • Deck boards

Step 1 – Remove the Stripped Screws

Insert a normal screwdriver bit into the drill and position it correctly into the head of the screw. Set the drill into reverse and allow it to turn the screw loose. This may work in some cases, but not all the time.

If the screw does not come off, remove the screwdriver bit and replace it with a screw extractor bit. The bit set should come with a reference to screw sizes. Insert the extractor into the drill and position it on top of the screw head. Set the drill into reverse and press the trigger. The screw should come out of the hole without damaging the threaded screw hole. Remove the other screws in the same manner.

Step 2 – Remove and Replace the Deck Boards (if Applicable)

When deciding to replace the deck board with a new one, remove the old one gently after all screws are removed. Place the new board into position and mark where the screws should go in. Ensure that the screws are positioned on top of the location of the base boards. It is also important to position the screws 1 inch from the edge of each board. If the screws are installed too close to the edge, the boards may crack and splinter upon installation. To save time, set two or three boards in place before securing the screws. Each screw should be spaced evenly according to deck board manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 3 – Install New Deck Screws in Place

This is easy when simply replacing the screws for repairs. Position the screw into the threaded holes and turn them clockwise with a drill. Stop turning when the head is flush with the surface of the board.

For replacement boards, set the drill properly into position on the marked spots. To ensure that the screw is driven precisely at a right angle with the surface of the board, hold the drill properly with your weight supporting it. Check to make sure the drill is set to turn in a clockwise direction. Drive the screws into the board until the head is flush with the top surface of the board. It is okay if the head goes slightly deeper, but make sure not to drive it too much so it does not become too noticeable. The objective is to keep the screws from becoming too obvious. Install the other screws in place.