To caulk or not -- base of porch column

In the process of reflooring my covered porch with T&G ipe, I had to remove the wood columns. The columns rest on the decking.
Question is whether to caulk where the columns meet the deck or not? - Advantages: Makes the joint look better and fills gaps Keeps water out? - Disadvantages: Keeps water in?
One compromise would be to caulk along 3 sides, leaving the "downstream" (i.e. pitched down) side uncaulked.
Any suggestions?
The columns are solid wood turnings with a 7x7 square base (integral to the column itself) consisting of a solid 6x6 core and 1/2 facing around the edges. I have restored them so that they are now in quite excellent condition.
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My posts (at least, the outer bits) are 1/8" above the decking. That way, I can put something between the decking and posts when painting the posts or staining the deck. Might not be an option for your posts, though.
Might be a good idea to seal the base of the columns with penetrating epoxy or something, too.
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That's probably a great idea.
When I have to put posts on ANY surface, I seal the bottom with NP1 (an elastomeric UV resistant sealer/adhesive) swabbed on with my finger. If I can, I also lift mine up and put a fat bead of the same stuff all the way around the bottom.
You need elastomeric qualities as the crap wood we buy now for outdoor use is still as green as a gourd. As the wood schrinks from drying, a plain acrylic caulk will probably pull away from the adjoining surfaces and open up a crack.
If your post is sitting squarely on the deck, then put a 1/2" bead all the way around the base. Leaving one side open will do you no good - if you want to keep moisture and debris that attracts water out of your connection point, seal all sides.
When I used to build decks (and now when I build porches) I either caulk/prime/seal/paint immidiately after construction, or wait a few months to let the wood open up to create its own cracks for caulking. No matter what you do, any of your pine (treated or plain YP) will shrink and move as it dries. Ipe seems pretty stable, but I am assuming that your columns are pine. Seal 'em up. If you don't, you will also see relief cracking (usually in an area where they are most visible) on the post surfaces. Robert
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That's probably a great idea.
When I have to put posts on ANY surface, I seal the bottom with NP1 (an elastomeric UV resistant sealer/adhesive) swabbed on with my finger. If I can, I also lift mine up and put a fat bead of the same stuff all the way around the bottom.
SFWIW, While SikaFlex not only makes a very good line of marine sealants, their primary business is in the construction market.
Their tech service is very good and has an 800#.
Think I would treat the bottom 6"-12" of post with that green goop (Can't remember the name but probably a Flood product) intended to protect wood in wet locations, prior to painting.
Did this on an outdoor work benck setting on a concrete slab with good results.
Lew
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As usual Lew, spot on. I beleive at this point Sika makes NP! and actually owns them. We used to use Sikaflex XX? when I was a commercial super doing tilt wall panels. We sealed all the joints with that stuff, with joints and inch wide and 20 feet tall (or more).
NEVER have I seen that fail. Ever.
We use NP1/Sika for everything from fixing concrete cracks, roof flashings, masonry repair (seal your cracked mortar and bricks up with that stuff!) and even work boot repair. It holds paint, masonry sealers, sticks to everything and is completely UV proof. What more could a repair contractor want? I honestly keep about 4 -5 tubes in my truck of different colors.
If blueman is still reading this, note no one has spoken the ugliest word in sealants.
Silicone.
Sorry, someone had to say it. I can't think of one thing that stuff is good for excpet disguising leaks so that they can't be seen. I don't care what you use it for. It doesn't maintain its adhesion, doesn't hold paint well (some of the "paintables" are better than others) and is NOT UV resistant, no matter what the tube says.
Robert
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Silicone.
Do NOT darken my door step with that GARBAGE!!
Poor quality GARBAGE at best.
Lew
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I have heard several people recommend Sika but I haven't seen it locally either in the Borgs (not surprising) or in the local building supply store (I live in a Boston suburb).
How does Sika differ from the many so-called "premium" polyurethane construction adhesives on the market?
It sounds like you use it as the swiss-army knife of heavy-duty adhesives -- what makes it so special?
Thanks and sorry if the above sound like naive questions...
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"blueman" wrote:

Google is your friend, will give you the website, after that it is all down hill.
Lew
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Thanks. I have already coated the ends first with post preserver and then sealed the ends with Rotfix epoxy.
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: In the process of reflooring my covered porch with T&G ipe, I had to : remove the wood columns. The columns rest on the decking. [...] : Any suggestions?
: The columns are solid wood turnings with a 7x7 square base (integral : to the column itself) consisting of a solid 6x6 core and 1/2 facing : around the edges. I have restored them so that they are now in quite : excellent condition.
Consider using a base plate of some impervious material between the post and the deck, and then install trim to hide the gap.
For example, see http://www.vintagewoodworks.com/basmounbloca.html , but I'd probably make my own.
By the way, I've had good experiences working with Vintage Wooodworks.
--- Chip
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