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Decks  /  June 22, 2022

Rotting Deck Posts: Repair Versus Replacement

Do you need new posts

If you have a deck post that is rotting, the one thing you cannot do is ignore it. If you do, the problem will just get worse. Ultimately, your deck could end up unsafe and unusable. Deck repair services in Kitchener can either repair or replace the post, but how do you know which you need?

Replacement

In many cases, the best available option is to have the post replaced entirely. This way, you know that it is stable and secure, with its structural integrity intact.

Deck posts rot because of infiltration by water. This can occur if a post is sunk below grade, if it is buried in concrete, or if it is in the soil such as clay that does not drain properly. Water in the post causes it to break down from the inside out. As the wood breaks down, pockets of air can form inside of it, and water can collect in these empty spaces, accelerating the process.

To replace a rotten deck post, the first step is to provide sufficient support for the deck. You do not want the deck to collapse as you are working with the post. You need a jack to both support the deck and lift it up so you can remove the post for replacement. A floor jack or hydraulic jack will do, but you need to bolster the support provided by placing two 2 x 6s nailed together in the shape of the letter T on top of the lift and the jack so that they fit with the joist is smooth.

Don’t lift the deck up any higher than you have to. This could damage the deck posts that are otherwise still good. Lift up just enough that the weight is off the old post just slightly.

If the post was buried in a concrete pad, you’ll have to clean and excavate the hole that it was in before pouring concrete and installing the new post.

Repair

There are times when repairing the post is more appropriate than replacing it completely. For example, you may want to repair a post when it is decorative and it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a replacement that is a good match. This might be the case if the deck is on the second story of the home and there is a patio or porch underneath it. Even if a replacement post is available, it may cost more than you can afford.

There are a couple of different methods you can use to repair a rotting deck post. Once you have identified its weak points, it may be possible to shore them up using metal brackets. Another option may be cutting away the portion of the post that is rotted and laminating a new section in its place.

When in doubt about whether to repair or replace a rotted deck post, you should replace it. This is the right solution in a majority of cases. For example, replacement is probably the only solution if the rot is so pervasive throughout the post that removing it all wouldn’t leave enough behind to provide adequate support. Also, if you are not certain whether you have identified all the areas of rot within the post, replacing it becomes the only practical option available to you.

It is important to take the safety of the people who use the deck, such as your family members and friends, into consideration when deciding whether to repair or replace a wooden deck post. A mistake on your part could lead to a tragic accident.

Consult Handyman Connection for Deck Repair Services in Kitchener

Our technicians can assess the condition of your deck and recommend a plan of action. Contact us for deck installation in Kitchener, as well as repair services.

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