Fill rusting cast iron support posts with cement instead of replacing?

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Old 04-10-14, 07:34 PM
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Fill rusting cast iron support posts with cement instead of replacing?

I have just discovered that all three cast iron support posts under my screened porch have rusted out at the bottom and the porch is in danger of sagging or falling down if this isn’t corrected ASAP.

The cast iron posts are hollow with small rusted out holes near ground level.

Could I drill a hole in the floor above a beam and pour in cement into the hollow cast iron post as a way of permanently correcting the problem?

It seems like the cement would be as strong as the brick or wood posts that I could replace the cast iron posts with.

Will filling the cast iron posts with cement cause any other problems? (The cast iron posts are encased in cedar boards so it doesn't matter what they look like.)

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or suggestions you may be able to offer!
 
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Old 04-10-14, 07:41 PM
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I see no way that's going to work out.
Highly unlikely there cast iron, more likely steel, and never should have been used in an exposed area.
 
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Old 04-11-14, 04:13 AM
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of course its POSSIBLE they're cast iron but highly unlikely,,, agree w/joe - steel ! if the job's under the porch & doesn't matter, why do anything ?

get some 4" steel pipe - cut it to the right length - put in conc footers - jack the porch 1/8" - insert conc filled steel pipe - release the jack's hydraulic pressure

don't forget to spread the load over the jack or you could create more troubles
 
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Old 04-11-14, 04:21 AM
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Pipes are rusted out. Don't bother trying to fill them. Replace them. Make sure the footer is adequate. Cut the pipe 1/2" shorter than needed, add 1/4" steel plates (welded and punched for fasteners) to top and bottom, then do the jacking thing and insert the new posts.
 
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Old 04-11-14, 07:13 AM
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more questions

Thanks for all the responses!

I think you're correct -- the posts are steel – not cast iron. And rusting.

They are encased in cedar to match the lower decks and clearly visable, so it will be a BIG job to tear off railings and decking to get to them, dig them out and replace them (probably with 14 foot 6x6 pressure treated lumber).

I just did some web surfing and found this:

Fill tall pole with concrete - cure?

It would save a HUGE amount of time, energy and money if I could just fill the posts with concrete and not have to tear up the deck to replace them.

I know if too much concrete spilled out of the rusted out holes, then it wouldn’t work. What if I just filled the bottom 3 inches first and let it set, then filled the rest of the pole a few days later?

What do I have to lose by trying this except a little time and the cost of the concrete?

Are there any dangers?

I appreciate all your thoughts and ideas!
 
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Old 04-11-14, 07:42 AM
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Chandler,

I realized that I replied to myself instead of to the group.

I think you're correct -- the posts are steel – not cast iron. And rusting but not buckling.

They are encased in cedar to match the lower decks and clearly visible, so it will be a BIG job to tear off railings and decking to get to them, dig them out and replace them (probably with 14 foot 6x6 pressure treated lumber).

I just did some web surfing and found this:

Fill tall pole with concrete - cure?

It would save a HUGE amount of time, energy and money if I could just fill the posts with concrete and not have to tear up the deck to replace them.

I know if too much concrete spilled out of the rusted out holes, then it wouldn’t work. What if I just filled the bottom 3 inches first and let it set, then filled the rest of the pole a few days later?

What do I have to lose by trying this except a little time and the cost of the concrete?

Are there any dangers?

I appreciate all your thoughts and ideas!

What if I filled a steel post with the QUIKRETE Fast-Setting Concrete Mix and then just added water? That would be so easy compared with ripping out a large chunk of the deck to replace the steel beams with pressure treated lumber.

Would it be better to mix one of the other concretes than use this one? What are the dangers of trying this (other than the concrete might leak out the holes?)

I have never used concrete before. I apologize if I'm asking dumb questions!

Thanks!
 
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Old 04-13-14, 03:08 AM
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there's no cheap OR easy way to do jobs the right way,,, either take time, expend the right effort, & spend the necessary $ or not,,, but that's just my opinion & how i do things
 
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Old 04-13-14, 08:23 AM
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Doing things the quick and easy way is rarely quick and easy.

Drilling large-enough holes for repair concrete to pass through will create serious weakness in bearing members at the tops of the columns. That means you'll also have to replace them when you replace the rusted-out columns.
 
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Old 04-14-14, 07:17 AM
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Thank you for responding.

Are you saying that the rusted out columns will have to be replaced whether I fill them with concrete or not? The bearing members at the tops of the columns are three inches thick -- I was only planning to drill a hole through the middle inch. Would filling the hole with concrete lesson the weakening of the bearing members? What if I filled the hole with Bondo? (I was thinking I could pour concrete through a 1 inch hole -- is that even possible?)

I’m kind of confused by all the emotion that this question seems to have generated on the list. I don’t know what I’m doing and this may be a really stupid idea, but I’d like to understand why it wouldn’t work... Some people almost seem to be judging the idea (and me!) as “bad” just because I’d like to find a way to save some time and money if there’s a way to do it safely and effectively…

Another idea -- What if I jacked up the porch, cut off the metal post where it was rusted, dug out the damaged bottom of the post and built a cement platform up to just below the cut off post, capped the cement to protect from moisture, then lowered the cut off beam down onto the capped cement. Does this sound reasonable? If not, what are the negatives or potential problems?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts…
 
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Old 04-14-14, 07:48 AM
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you're welcome !

think the general thinking is rusted out columns are worthless

' Would filling the hole with concrete lesson [ OR LESSEN ? ] the weakening of the bearing members ? '

' What if I filled the hole with Bondo? (I was thinking I could pour concrete through a 1 inch hole -- is that even possible ? ) ' IF you can do that, you'll be the 1st to ever successfully accomplish the task

yeah, sometimes emotions get the best of some when proposed methods & materials run counter to accepted practices,,, many responders think in terms of repairing something properly rather than sticking on band-aids,,, out-of-the-box thinking is 1 thing - pie-in-the-sky is often another

' I don’t know what I’m doing and this may be a really stupid idea, but I’d like to understand why it wouldn’t work ' - we know that already - that's why we're trying to show you the best way to reach your goal

' Some people almost seem to be judging the idea (and me!) as “bad” just because I’d like to find a way to save some time and money if there’s a way to do it safely and effectively… ' i'll leave the judging to others

apologies - thought that method was previously recommended,,, everyone appreciates saving $, time, & effort - in that respect, we're all the same UNLESS you work for a government entity in which case $ are no trouble
 
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