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Permanent Cure for Popped Nails

Protruding nailheads aren't just unsightly; they can be dangerous

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Walk across any wood deck, and you'll probably see a nailhead or two popped up above the surface. Popped nails aren't just unsightly; the protruding head can cut bare feet and cause a nasty fall if it catches a shoe heel. Pounding the nailhead down solves the problem temporarily, but the nail usually works itself back up again before long. To keep a popped nail down, first tap it below the surface with a hammer and nailset. Then drive a 3-inch-long decking screw alongside the nail, making sure that the screwhead overlaps the nailhead.

Permanent Cure for Popped Nails
Illustration by Narda Lebo
Permanent Cure for Popped Nails

Walk across any wood deck, and you'll probably see a nailhead or two popped up above the surface. Popped nails aren't just unsightly; the protruding head can cut bare feet and cause a nasty fall if it catches a shoe heel. Pounding the nailhead down solves the problem temporarily, but the nail usually works itself back up again before long. To keep a popped nail down, first tap it below the surface with a hammer and nailset. Then drive a 3-inch-long decking screw alongside the nail, making sure that the screwhead overlaps the nailhead.

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