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How to Fix Cracks in Deck Pillars

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

You enjoy life on your outdoor deck so much, it’s your outdoor paradise. You hang out there with family and friends and make memories that will last a lifetime. But outdoor decks can become very bad after years of use. Even if the wood for deck posts is very strong, heat, cold and bad weather can cause it to crack or split over time. Yes, treated wood can resist rot, mold, and insects, but it can still crack or split.

If there is a problem with a deck strut, then it can affect the use of your outdoor deck, which in turn can create a safety hazard. Therefore, you need to fix a deck strut before it causes structural problems. Want to know how to fix a deck post that has cracked? Read our guide on how to repair deck posts to ensure that your outdoor deck will last a long time.

Repair Tools

Before you can start filling cracks in your deck posts, you need to prepare the tools and materials you need.

  • Putty knife or spatula
  • Timber filler or epoxy glue
  • Clamps
  • Sanding block
  • 60-grit sandpaper
  • 180-grit sandpaper
  • Clean cotton cloth
  • Paintbrush
  • Decking oil
  • Primer and paint or stain
  • A ladder if you have a tall deck

How to repair a broken deck post

First, you must find out if the post is structurally sound. If the structure of the post is broken, it cannot be repaired. If the post is strong enough, the cracks in the wood can be filled. Now, we will explain step by step how to fix a cracked deck post before it becomes irreparable and causes structural problems.

1. Check out the broken deck post.

Before you buy anything else for this project, inspect the cracked deck post. Where is the damage? Does the crack run down the support post or through the middle? Does the post look like it will fall apart at the slightest touch or movement? If your deck post is moving too much or falling apart, it may be damaged beyond repair.

If your deck is high or has more than one level, you’ll need a ladder to fully inspect the deck posts. Once you’re on the ladder, follow the instructions and safety rules.

2. Pick the right glue

Choose waterproof glue to fill cracks in the deck posts. Read the label carefully to make sure the product will adhere to the wood. If it does not, the glue will not adhere. At your local hardware store, you can find the following two main types of glue

Powdered resin glue. This glue is perfect for wood because it will not change the color of the wood and will not grow mold. You will need to mix the right amount of water with the resin until you get a substance that is as thick as molasses. It will be as sticky as glue.

Epoxy resin. When the cracks in the deck posts are large, you should use epoxy resin. This glue is stronger than resin glue and can even stop the damage from getting worse. Read the instructions carefully, as epoxy needs to be treated in a certain way. Most epoxy dispensers have glue that can be injected into the cracks to seal them permanently.

3. Use glue to fill cracks in the deck posts.

Use a putty knife to apply the glue to the broken and cracked deck posts. Apply the glue firmly to the outside of the deck posts. Once all cracks are filled, use a putty knife to smooth the surface of the deck posts. Some of the glue will fill in the natural grain and cracks in the wood.

4. Consider using clips to secure wide cracks

If the cracks or splits are very wide, you will need at least one large clamp to hold the post in place. Tighten the clamps on both sides of the post until some of the glue you put in earlier comes out of the post. Maintain pressure on the clamps until the glue is completely set, which usually takes 24 to 48 hours, according to the manufacturer.

5. After the glue has been set, sand off any excess glue.

Now you need to get rid of any glue that is sticking out from the edges of the split deck posts. Place 60 grit sandpaper on a small sanding block that you can hold in your hand. Gently rub back and forth until the glue and wood are at the same height. Sand the edges with 180-grit sandpaper to make them smooth. Wipe off any excess glue or sawdust with a clean, dry cotton cloth.

6. Apply sealer

Place some floor polish on a 1-inch paintbrush. Apply one coat of oil to the repair, let it dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and then apply a second coat of oil on top of the first. Allow the second coat of oil to dry completely. The deck oil will keep the moisture out and completely seal the repair.

7. Paint or stain the repaired deck posts

To do the final touch-up, you may want to cover the deck oil with primer and paint or deck stain, depending on what your deck looks like now. If it’s already been painted, use primer and paint. If you haven’t painted your deck yet, you may choose to stain it depending on the situation.

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