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Install & Replace

Deck Repair

Bought our house 6 years ago. Deck posts are rotting a ground level causing deck to sag at two diagonaly corners. The corners have dropped about 3 inches causing the stairs to sag upward and back actually lifiting them up off of the ground.  So far we have found that 3 posts are rotted. Deck boards are not usual decking boards they are all 2 x 4 planks and nailed.  What is the easiest way to repair the deck posts that are rotting. We have thought of  simply jacking up the deck to level, then placing new  posts next to the rotting ones.  We cannot afford to replace the entire deck and feel the only other  option may be to tear down the deck, and build a small porch and stairs for the exit door from house, but enjoy using the deck. What would be the least expensive way to repair the deck.

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Posted 2011-05-02T02:30:55+0000  by mat10753 mat10753

Hello mat10753 and thank you for joining.


Mat, your pressure treated posts are not intended to be  installed with direct  (in) ground contact, it does say on some pressure treated  lumber that is treated for ground contact but overall this is just a bad building practice.


Most building codes do not approve this method anymore and they call for the concrete footings (piers)  to be placed under support posts. Depth of the footing varies from location to location so in order to find out your exact requirements you would have to reach out to your building department.


Here up North they usually require concrete footing to be 42" inches deep and bellow frost the line, again depending on location.


This said I would recommend removing rooted posts and replacing them with new ones that are placed and supported by the concrete piers.



Easiest way in my opinion to accomplish this would be to support the existing deck with cinder blocks and remove top boards around the affected posts.

Once you install new posts you may need to install some diagonal bracing depending on the height of your existing deck.


 Finally use galvanized carriage bolts or lag bolt ½” diameter and larger to make post to joists connections.


Hope this helps and good luck with your project.





Posted 2011-05-02T14:42:27+0000  by George_HD_CHI



Thanks for the response. However,  the  posts appear to have been placed directly in the ground with concrete poured in the hole around the post, now the post is rotting off at concrete level. To dig a new hole we would have to try to remove the concrete poured into the ground. We also live up north (Michigan) so we are familiar with having to dig below frost line, which I believe is 36" here.   Would it  be possible to cut off or remove the existing posts and use the concrete that is there to attach the brackets.  We remember seeing some kind of deck base made of concrete at our local Home Depot, would these be an option?  They were square base's with an area on top that allowed  for placement of 2 x4's into an inset area, that would be in place of the steel brackets.

Posted 2011-05-03T01:22:38+0000  by mat10753

You are welcome.


Would it be possible to cut off or remove the existing posts and use the concrete that is there to attach the brackets?


Yes, Mat you have a three repair choices and neither one does not require concrete removal.


Your first choice would be to place an EZ plate on top of the concrete footing and fasten down to concrete with galvanized wedge anchors, see attached picture;


ez base.gifretro fit base.jpgezbase-installed.jpg

Something to keep in mind with this method is that new anchor holes are going to be fairly close to the outer edge of the old existing support post. To prevent cracking I would recommend pulling a rotted section out and filling void with concrete prior to new base installation.


Your second option would be to mend the rotted post.


This can be accomplished only if post its still in the reparable condition and rotting did not occur inside the concrete footing.

ez-mender.jpgmending plates.gifezmender-uninstalled.jpg



Last option would be to pull the rotted section of the post that is inside of the footing out and replace with in concrete galvanized base;




Check local building department for any applicable code requirements before installing E-Z Fence Post Products and SDS base profiles.



  We remember seeing some kind of deck base made of concrete at our local Home Depot, would these be a n option?


I wouldn’t recommend using a DEK block (concrete base) supports unless this is a detached structure.

Your concrete footings are placed bellow frost line in order to minimize soil movement caused by soil expansion, DEK block would defeat that purpose not being attached to the mentioned footings.


Hope this helps.




Posted 2011-05-03T15:10:16+0000  by George_HD_CHI
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