Home Deck Post Repair

Hi. Looks like I am in for some experience. I have a nice deck, which is supported by 6 x 6 posts. Unfortunately, I have found that two of the posts are simply driven into the ground, and not on a concrete footing or pier. In addition, those two posts are, you guessed it, rotting out. In order to replace the posts I would have to remove the deck "skirt" and some decking, and then detach the post from the deck joist, where it is nailed (not lag-bolted) to the post. I don't see any real way to remove all the nails without damaging the attaching pieces. If possible, I think a lap joint cut into the deck post would work well. I'll have to pour a footing, but after that is done, I think I could put in a lap jointed post and lag the two posts together. I'd sure like to hear some comments about this idea. Thanks.
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same thing to an internal beam on a barn a couple of years ago- their web site may have details. If the post is hidden, I'd consider using some thick steel gusset plates on both sides, in addition to the lap joint. Just bolt the hell out of it, including a couple bolts top and bottom through solid post above and below the lap joint. Belt and suspenders, etc.
Other alternative, that may be cheaper and easier, if the rotten part doesn't go too high. Cut back the bottom of post to solid wood, and instead of a flush footer, pour a sonotube of rebar'd concrete high enough to meet the bottom of the now-shorter post. Make sure to use a J-bolt and proper standoff (Simpson or similar) on the new bottom joint, whichever way you go. They make L-shaped ones with a flange you can lag into the hidden side, since you won't be able to end-bolt or drop center-drilled post over a rod.
Standard precautions about jacking the deck to take the load off the post being worked on apply. Decks will usually flex an inch or so with little problem.
aem sends...
aem sends...
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How high is the deck? Do you use the underside as a patio or anything? Is it visible? It may be possible to just add a new post next to the old one and then cut out the old one flush at the bottom of the skirt.
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cut out the rot and splice a new pc of 6x6 pt to the bottom.
| > If possible, I think a lap joint cut into the deck | > post would work well. I'll have to pour a footing, but after that is | > done, I think I could put in a lap jointed post and lag the two posts | > together. I'd sure like to hear some comments about this idea. | > Thanks. | > | | How high is the deck? Do you use the underside as a patio or anything? Is | it visible? It may be possible to just add a new post next to the old one | and then cut out the old one flush at the bottom of the skirt. | |
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Sorry for the late reply--I've been having some trouble figuring out how to respond to everyone in the post thus far. The deck is on a grade, the height varies. The shortest post runs about two feet between the dirt and the skirt. The longest post is about five feet between footing and skirt. I'm concerned that if I side-saddle a post the weight will be extreme on the mechanical attachments. It seems safer to either butt joint or lap joint the new post in. I just don't know if there is any code requirement as to depth of the lap, side-strapping, etc. I'll be heading to the library this morning to review the IRC. Checking with my city, they have no additional provisions or restrictions to the IRC, so that is good...I think.
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Thanks to all who have responded thus far. It seems like the conscensus is to either lap joint or pour up the footing after cutting off the bad wood in the post. I'm going to consider the second option--not one I had thought of before--because it sounds like an easier way to go than having to lap and lag a joint. I have since checked the other two posts along the side where I have the problem, and found that they too are in poor shape, so I think I'll have to do whatever I do to all four posts, one at a time. If I opt to pour up the footing, what sort of bracket do you recommend which will both allow for a secure attachment to the remaining post, and allow the post to slide into the bracket to secure it?
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