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Patio Woes

Q: "How do I replace the redwood dividing strips embedded in my concrete patio?"

Save the Bay Tom Silva

The redwood dividing strips embedded in my concrete patio have finally rotted in several places. How should I replace them?
— Tim, Star Prairie, WI


Tom Silva replies: It should be pretty easy to cut the damaged wood out using a hammer and a sharp ¾-inch wood chisel. The ends of any protruding nails holding the wood strips to the concrete can be cut with a hacksaw blade, or a reciprocating saw with a metal-cutting blade. Brush all the debris out of the channels, then vacuum out any remaining dust and dirt.
Now, run some beads of marine-grade polyurethane sealant along the bottom of the groove and push straight strips of redwood or pressure-treated wood into place. (Don't use too much adhesive; if it goops out around the strips and onto the patio, you'll have a mess to clean up.) Weight the strips down with cement blocks or heavy rocks for a few days until the adhesive cures. Your patio should look as good as new.


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