Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>outdoor steps attaching screws covering
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hndytom
outdoor steps attaching screws covering

I have been trying to keep the countersunk heads of my stair tread attachment screws concealed since they were built last summer and have not had much luck. The treads are PT 2x10s with good outdoor screws. I used indoor/outdoor spackling the first time and wood putty (powder) since then. Between the weather and having to put salt on them in the winter nothing I have tried has worked for very long. If this keeps up the screw heads will rust away and I will have to rescrew the treads down again. The treads and porch floor are painted with porch and floor paint. There are 9 treads with 9 screws in each so it is a lot of work to have to keep redoing.

A. Spruce
Re: outdoor steps attaching screws covering

Have you considered plugging the holes? You can purchase a plug cutter pretty inexpensively, cut plugs from a scrap of PT and either tap the plugs dry into the holes or use polyurethane glue. Once installed the plugs are trimmed and sanded flush and painted.

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: outdoor steps attaching screws covering
hndytom wrote:

I have been trying to keep the countersunk heads of my stair tread attachment screws concealed since they were built last summer and have not had much luck. The treads are PT 2x10s with good outdoor screws. I used indoor/outdoor spackling the first time and wood putty (powder) since then. Between the weather and having to put salt on them in the winter nothing I have tried has worked for very long. If this keeps up the screw heads will rust away and I will have to rescrew the treads down again. The treads and porch floor are painted with porch and floor paint. There are 9 treads with 9 screws in each so it is a lot of work to have to keep redoing.

How about swapping out the screws for the correct guage or alloy STAINLESS STEEL screws/fasteners/hardware? (can't recall at the moment which 30 number is the right one). At least then you'd have no rust issue or corrosion issue with Pressure Treated Lumber's copper causing a reaction with the metal and potentially causing a structure failure, safety or warping issue with your deck/porch steps.

I'd replace coated deck screws or galv with SS first, and while you're at it you can counter bore for plugs. If plugs is how you're going - I'd go with an epoxy one for exterior type designed for horizontal exposures, maybe even a marine deck epoxy, for adhesion/bonding, possibly pre-mixing it with some of the wood flour you create from making your PT plugs, or skip the plugs completely and use some epoxy wood filler that you mix with wood flour you create from some scrap PT.

Might also try a different attachment/fastening method with those SS screws (like from below, or blind fastener system perhaps?).

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