Setting a deck nail with a hinge pin
Popped deck nails are tripping hazards — it’s important to drive them back into the deck asap.

If your home has a wooden deck, do an annual visual inspection to make sure that it’s structurally sound. Some things to look for are large splinters and popped nail heads, which are tripping hazards and should be dealt with immediately.

You might think the first tool to reach for would be a nail set, but it has a really small tip and has a tendency to slip off the nail head. Instead, use an old hinge pin as the nail set. It’s nice and long, has a diameter that’s typically the size of the nail head, and it does a great job of driving the nail down.

You want to drive the nail not flush, but below the surface. This way, if it pops up a bit, it won’t be in the way, and if you do this once a year you’ll keep your deck nice and clean and you won’t be catching your foot in any popped nail heads.

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  1. A better solution to pounding down a loose nail would be to pull it out and replace it with a deck screw. A loose nail will work its way back out again in no time. The screw replacement is a fix-once repair.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Brian!
      Simple Solutions are all about fixing things with what you’ve got on hand.
      But absolutely, deck screws are awesome.


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