Loose or Missing Plugs Over Screw Heads
– This is probably one of the easiest problems to fix, but if it’s happening at the same time as the seams being worn out, you are facing a bigger re-caulking job.
Let’s assume your deck seams are still good – The first sign of a loose plug is a black ring around the plug, this is caused by mildew from water under the plug.
Fix by drilling out the plug with an annular cutter like a Hougen Rotacut, it is a sheet metal tool, but works wonders here. See Hougen.com Rotacut for more information.
Remove any existing glue from the screw head and remove the screw. Countersink the hole deeper (you should have at least 1/4 inch above the screw head) and for best results go for the next plug size up. Use a dip of caulk on the screw threads to ensure water tightness and install the new screw. Glue in the new plug with epoxy, and after the glue sets, carefully chisel off the plug-top flush to the surrounding deck. This same procedure is used in the case of missing plugs.
*Above tips and guidelines are result of years of experience and are found to be helpful and work in many cases. However, every deck is different and by no means can we guarantee the results on your deck, so please use your local professional if you don’t feel comfortable working on your own.