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Install & Replace

Deck Post repair

The top 5-6 inches of our 6x6 deck posts are rotting in the center.  When the deck was built (before I moved in), no caps were put on the post, so I believe that moisture getting in the posts through the New England winter (outside of Boston) has caused the rot.  (Background info: It's a three story building, with a deck on each level - this is the top of the posts.  No problems on below floors).


Is it possible to clean out the rot from the top 6 inches or so and use some type of filler to repair the post, then cap them to keep the weather out?  Or do the whole post need to be replaced?



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Posted 2012-08-13T14:37:21+0000  by ChrisL ChrisL

Hello ChrisL and welcome to the How to Community.


Chris, are these corner posts that railings are attached to? 


Can they be shortened depends on how much are they sticking out past the railings...


In other words there are building codes that require specific height for the railing posts and railings... I don’t know what the code would be in our area (check with your local building department) but normally they call for 42" + inches.


Top 6" inches sounds like a lot of rot and I wouldn’t opt for the wood filler repair, especially if these are structural.

You might be able to splice the posts at the rim board-post connection. That would also be something you would need to confirm as well but normally they allow such repair. It would entail notching the posts 12-16" inches in an L shape and bolting them together with 1/2” or 5/8" galvanized bolts.


I don’t think that whole post needs to be replaced ...can you post some pictures of the porch and rotten tops?


Hope this helps,





Posted 2012-08-13T15:17:14+0000  by George_HD_CHI

Thanks, George.  That is helpful.  I'm not looking to shorten the railing height at all.


Yes, the railings are attached to the posts and the posts are definitely sturctural.  I've attached 3 pictures.  The first to get an idea what the porch looks like.  The second is a close up of the top of the most rotted post.  And the third is leaning over the side to take a picture of the length of post.


Thanks for any additional thoughts you have.  I'll look into the notching more.





Posted 2012-08-13T23:44:32+0000  by ChrisL

Hi Chris,


Chris besides notching the post i think your only other option here would be to special order some sort of  sleeve-cap that would slide over the top of the post with attachment points for the top rails.


Something like this would do the job but you would have to get your local building department to sign off on it first. 



post repair.JPG


Obviously cap and all fasteners would have to be hot dipped galvanized.


Hope this helps.



Posted 2012-08-20T18:47:20+0000  by George_HD_CHI
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