Broken deck screws should be removed and replaced to ensure the deck boards are properly secured. These screws can be challenging to remove especially if they are bent, stripped or fused. Here are some methods to use when removing them.
Step 1 – Use a Screwdriver
Broken screws that have their heads still attached to them can be removed easily with a screwdriver. Just be careful not to break the head from the shaft. Place the flat or cross edge of the screwdriver into the head of the screw and turn it counterclockwise carefully. As soon as the screw comes off of the deck boards remove them and set them aside.
Step 2 – Use a Pair of Pliers
If the head has been removed but part of the shaft is still protruding out of the deck boards, use a pair of pliers to twist them loose. Grip the shaft firmly with the pliers and turn it counterclockwise until it comes completely off. Set the shaft aside.
Step 3 – Use a Screw Extractor Bit
If the head of the screw is stripped, it will be difficult to remove the broken screw. A screwdriver cannot be used to turn it loose. If the shaft is not protruding from the surface of the board, a pair of pliers will also be useless. However, the stripped portion can be removed using an extractor bit. Place the bit into the drill and set the drill to turn counterclockwise. Place the tip of the bit exactly on top of the screw head. Support the bit with some of your weight. While pressing firmly on the head, press the trigger on the drill to begin the extraction. The screw should turn loose from the board. Do the same with the other stripped screws.
Another method that can be used to remove the stripped screws involves the use of a claw hammer. Insert the flat edge of a screwdriver underneath the head of the screw and pry it up a bit just enough to allow the claw of the hammer to be inserted underneath. Position the claw underneath the head and pull the screw loose.
Step 4 – Pry the Entire Deck Board
If the broken screw is bent or is fused inside, it will be more difficult to remove using the above methods. The solution is to pry the board loose and hammer the screws out of the holes. Insert claw bar underneath the board where each screw is held and carefully pry it loose. Proceed to the next screw until the board is free from the baseboards.
Hammer the screw from the underside and pull it out on the other side with the claw of the hammer. If it is broken, insert a nail into the hole from the underside and hammer it into the hole to push the screw out. Install the deck board back into place and secure it using new deck screws.