Deck boards are a great way to create an outdoor patio area, but if you have old ones that need replacement, there are some smart things you can do with them. If your deck is built on cement, make sure the wood remains dry and protected from contact with water. If it’s not made of concrete or tile, consider using pressure-treated lumber for long-lasting durability in place of regular wood.
The “what can you make out of old decking boards” is a blog post that gives 4 smart things to do with your old deck boards.
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Changing out an old deck with a new one might be a refreshing adjustment. Even if you spend many happy hours on your old deck, the wood will eventually get twisted and damaged, and it will need to be replaced.
The procedure of replacing your old deck is a whole different one, but one that you can do on your own. But, after your new deck is finished and looks fantastic, you’re left with one question: what do I do with the old deck boards?
Thankfully, there are a variety of applications for that old wood that you may not have considered. With a little elbow grease and imagination, you can turn an old deck into a functional and attractive piece.
Recognize the Different Types of Wood
One thing to bear in mind is that there are a variety of materials that may be utilized for decking, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Know what your old deck planks are constructed of before you start reusing them.
Treated timber is perhaps the most prevalent sort of decking material, and it’s by a long shot. This is the sort of decking wood that has been chemically treated to make it resistant to insect damage and decay as a result of exposure to the sun and the environment.
When it comes to deck materials, redwood and cedar are also popular choices. This is due to the fact that both of these woods are inherently resistant to insects and weather.
Because there are no extra chemicals required, they are also more costly to get than pressure-treated timber.
Composite and PVC decking are common choices for high-end decks. PVC decking is created using a synthetic resin. Polyvinyl chloride is the name of the synthetic resin.
Meanwhile, composite decking is constructed of wood fibers and recyclable polymers. After that, an adhesive is utilized to join them together.
Because of the various qualities of these materials, there are a variety of reuse and disposal possibilities. Natural decking is easier to dispose of since it does not include any harmful chemicals that were used to treat the wood.
Is Pressure-Treated Wood Recyclable?
In a nutshell, you can’t. This is due to the presence of toxic compounds in the wood that are designed to withstand insect and weather damage. Pressure-treated wood cannot be salvaged for use because of these chemicals.
It’s possible that your deck was treated with chromate copper arsenate, depending on how old it is. This is what gives the deck its weather-resistant properties.
The US Environmental Protection Agency halted this practice in 2004. Because it includes copper, chromium, and arsenic, it is prohibited. Those three are very harmful to one’s health, and arsenic is a poison.
So, if your deck was constructed before 2004, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to reuse the timber. Reclaiming that old timber, as well as chipping or pulverizing those old deck boards, might result in the release of those dangerous chemicals.
Pressure-treated wood from 2004 or before may only be disposed of in a municipal landfill. Even so, many communities mandate that you transport such goods to a hazardous materials portion of your local dump, where the timber may be disposed of in a lined landfill.
The liner keeps the toxins from seeping into the groundwater and soil, putting many people in the vicinity in risk.
How to Get Rid of Old Deck Wood
Even if the decking wood you used to build your deck didn’t contain any of those toxic elements, disposing of any old wood comes with its own set of risks. Nails, screws, splintered wood, and other sharp things that may cut, gouge, or stab you fall into this category.
When dismantling your old deck to prepare it for disposal, make sure you’re wearing the appropriate safety gear. The last thing you want to do is receive a tetanus injection after being stabbed by a rusted nail.
Keep in consideration the safety of others as well. Sure, you won’t have to deal with those old boards again, but if there are nails protruding from them, someone who touches them unintentionally might be in for a nasty surprise.
Each town has its own rules for disposing of goods like old wood, so be sure to check them out before you do anything. When you’ve previously disposed of those boards, you don’t want to have to do it again.
Even after you’ve dismantled your old deck, there are lots of things you can do with that old wood.
How to Recycle Old Deck Boards
1 – Give it to someone else.
Sure, you spent a lot of money on that old deck, and making some money off of it would be fantastic. However, when it comes to getting rid of old furniture or, in this instance, decking, you must consider the difficulties of getting rid of those old materials.
“One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure,” as the adage goes. People are selling or giving items around their houses that they no longer need more than ever before, thanks to Facebook networks.
There is a simpler method if you don’t want to go through the trouble of removing all of the old deck wood from your prior deck.
You might try piling the boards on the curb with a sign reading “free wood” depending on the condition of the wood you want to get rid of. You’d be shocked how fast anything like that may be noticed by a passing motorist.
Even if you don’t reside in a high-traffic region, you can construct an ad using the Internet’s power. Post it in your local Facebook Marketplace and, at the very least, you’ll receive a response within a few days. That takes care of the issue with the unused decking planks.
2 – Make a profit
Of course, if you feel like you’ve spent too much money in your old deck to just throw it away, you may attempt to sell it. And, since deck materials are engineered to endure a long period — upwards of 40 years — you may easily sell them to someone else.
Because decking materials may be rather costly, there is no doubt another party who would love to receive them for a fraction of the price. In a case like this, both the seller and the buyer may gain if the price is reasonable.
Keep in mind that they are secondhand materials rather than the more costly brand-new supplies available from a local provider.
Getting money for your old deck boards might assist cover part of the price of your new deck or be placed into a different account in your life. In any case, being able to recuperate some of the expenditures might make getting rid of your old deck a bit easier.
3 – Trash Collection in the Neighborhood
Depending on where you reside, there are defined times when you may pick up large things or building materials for free or for a cost.
In any case, call your local trash management organization or check their website to see if they would accept the old wood you’re trying to get rid of.
If that’s the case, all you have to do now is make sure it’s clear of nails and other potentially harmful things before tossing it on the curb. They will take it away for you and get it out of your hair once and for all if it comes within the limitations of your town.
4 – Look for a way to repurpose it
It’s also crucial to determine whether or not the existing decking materials you utilized were treated with dangerous chemicals. If they have, it is critical that you do not utilize the old materials since they are potentially harmful to your health.
If you’re a handyman, you should consider reusing that wood if it hasn’t been treated with the harmful chemicals stated previously. If the wood is still in good enough condition to be reused, there are several choices.
After all, pressure-treated wood isn’t cheap. And whether your deck is constructed of redwood, cedar, composite, or PVC, you probably paid a premium for some of the most costly materials available, and you’ll want to get more usage out of it to justify the entire cost.
Those materials are certified to last over half a century, so there’s a strong possibility they’ll still be used after you’ve demolished the previous deck. You may use them for a range of home improvement tasks.
The recycled wood may be used to make a workbench, flower boxes (the plants can’t be eaten in nature if you use treated wood), picture frames, benches, chairs, tables, or anything else you can think of when it comes to repurposing.
You may even utilize that old wood to make crafts or sellable goods if you have the time and patience. If you want to regain some of the money you lost on your first material investment, there is another option to do it.
There are however certain things you should avoid doing with your old decking planks. Here are only a few examples.
What You Shouldn’t Do With Your Old Deck Boards
REMEMBER NOT TO BURN IT
Burning undesirable objects becomes a fast and simple method for some of us to get rid of the things we don’t want, and it’s only natural that wood falls into that category. And, although burning yard debris or scrap lumber is an option, never burn treated timber.
Again, that treated timber is packed with compounds that are hazardous to consume, and burning that treated lumber releases those deadly chemicals into the air. And, as if that weren’t awful enough, the ashes may also contain significant quantities of the toxin arsenic.
Every state prohibits the burning of treated timber for a reason. It’s acceptable to get rid of that undesirable timber, but it’s illegal to burn it.
DO NOT CUT TREATED WOOD UP
If the topic hasn’t been evident yet, it should be by now. Treated wood includes such hazardous compounds, making it hazardous to dispose of without appropriate disposal. Cutting up those bits to make them simpler to dispose of may seem to be a smart idea, but it isn’t.
Anything you do to the wood gives undesired chemicals a chance to escape into the environment, posing a risk to you and people around you.
It should not be composted.
Do not, under any circumstances, compost your treated wood. Composting unwanted waste wood is usually a good idea, but we’re back to those dangerous chemicals. The chemicals from the treated wood will saturate the compost, resulting in toxic substances being dumped onto your garden.
Those harmful compounds may and will wind up in your plants and, ultimately, on your dining room table if this occurs. Even if you intend to use this compost on ornamental plants, the chemicals may leak into the soil and eventually into the groundwater, rendering everything planted or groundwater utilized poisonous.
There are a lot of things you can do with the old wood from your prior deck if it isn’t pressure-treated. Even so, you may securely dispose of that dangerous waste in an ecologically responsible and safe manner.
The “can i use old deck boards for raised beds” is a question that has been asked by many people. The answer is yes, the old deck boards can be used to make raised beds.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do with old deck boards?
A: In order to avoid an infestation of wood-boring insects, you can dispose of these boards by placing them in the nearby trash.
Can you reuse decking boards?
A: There is no official way to reuse decking boards. However, the act of doing so from a legal perspective may be possible if you do not sell your old board or take any other action that would identify it as yours.
How do you spruce up an old deck?
A: For this, I would recommend that you get a professional to do the work. However, if you are fairly handy with tools and have good time management skills then this might be something for you.
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