Nails too deep set to remove. Know a trick? Need to save the wood.

Im trying to help my best friend fix stuff around her house. Video games are what her 'man' around here is good at so she calls her bestie lol. First is this porch, idky theres a gap but its causing everything to be bowed. I just need to move it down to even it off but the nails are too deep set. Need to save the wood to reuse it but it wasnt weather treated so its falling apart. Whats a trick to get these nails out without damaging the wood? I dont have a drill, only a mini hammer and mini crowbar.. Ok guys ty for any help.
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On Monday, September 25, 2017 at 2:44:06 PM UTC-5, Dizzy wrote:

Can you go under the porch and hit the wood from the bottom to loosen it???
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caedfaa9ed1216d60ef78a6f660f5f85 snipped-for-privacy@example.com says...

Saw the nails between the boards and drive them out from the bottom.
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... yep - that sounds easy .. not. John T.
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On 9/25/17 5:42 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

Huh??
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On 9/25/2017 5:27 PM, Wade Garrett wrote:

Yep, looks like screws to me. You might get lucky and be able to get them out. Remove the stiles and runners as a unit repair them, jack up the porch then put it all back. Try not to disturb ur friend's game playing while you're at it.
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1. I can't tell if the fastenings are screws or nails. Yes, the DECK has screws but there is only one fastener in the rail that looks like it MIGHT be a screw and that is where the baluster is loose at the bottom.
2. Don't worry about trying to jack up the deck, that isn;t the problem.
3. Don't worry about taking out fasteners, you don't need to.
Your problem appears to be because the top rail has bowed. You could knock it off and replace but you'd wind up pretty much rebuilding the whole thing because knocking off the top rail is likely going to disrupt the balusters at the bottom as well as the top.
The alternative to replacement is fixing and to do that you need to bend the top rail back down. A pipe clamp between the rail top and underside of the deck would work. Once repositioned, keep it there by screwing a short piece of 2x4 to the post so that the end is against the repositioned rail.
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Crikey .. are we looking at the same photo ? It's obvious that the 4 x 4 has heaved up ~ 1 1/2 inches - taking the 2 side-pieces with it <forming the holes under them> and the two top-rails angling down away from it - as evidenced by the angled joints. Given such limited information - any advice on repairs would require a site visit - not a poor photo and a poor description. In general - I'd be a little worried about this deck - what else might be wonky and perhaps dangerous ? John T.
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I'm pretty sure we are seeing the same photo. I've seen lots of 2x4s warped around like a pretzel - especially when they are outdoors and unpainted - but have never encountered a "heaved up" 4x4. What would do that? Has to be a considerble force especially if, as I suspect, the 4x4 is holding up a porch roof. Plate tectonics? Earthquake? A herd of giant gophers? Errant sky hook?
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On 27-Sep-17 7:52 AM, dadiOH wrote: ...

Lots of things, most common frost heave or clay soil water movement.
Alternatively, it could be the rest has sagged and this one is the one with the solid-enough foundation to have remained roughly in original position.
Or, it could be relative movement of both directions with that the resultant at just the one position.
As someone else said, only seeing the whole thing in context will have any chance of a realistic answer as to what has actually happened.
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OK perhaps the whole deck - except the 4 x 4 - has sunk about 1 1/2 inches ... either way - ain't good. John T.
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dadiOH posted for all of us...

Gerbils
--
Tekkie

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replying to Dizzy, Iggy wrote: Dizzy, I have to agree with hrhofmann and/or hubops. Either the screws rotted out and the deck's structure let go...VERY BAD! Or, that the 4x4 in the center of the picture heaved up from freezing.

If the structure's no longer attached, you need to pull the floorboard out and jack the structure back up to then properly re-attach. This will fix the baluster connections and remove the rails' sag in the middle and, of course, remove all floor gaps.

If just the 4x4 has heaved, evidence being the 2x4's attached to only it and nothing else. Then, you'd remove and re-attached the 4x4's 2x4's flush down to the floor again...hoping the heaving is done. You'd basically just be dropping the rails back down so they're in contact with everything again.

To be of any help to your bestie, address the causes and not just the symptoms. Then, you should convince her to lose the trailer-trash-look and Solid Stain everything...it's very much like paint, but it doesn't peel or need scraping and only re-application of more Solid Stain in 15-years.
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replying to Iggy, Iggy wrote: In other words. No, there's no trick to removing the screws/nails beyond the digging them out with a Cat's Paw Tool or cutting them with a Reciprocating Saw. If they're all screws, as they appear to be, then you won't be able to get them out (nor the new ones in) with a hand screwdriver and will need a power-drill or impact-drill to make quick and easy work of them...do not re-use the old ones.

1 tip to not have to replace the wood, is to do your damage and then simply flip the board over to the undamaged side before re-attaching.
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