Burying Simpson Strong Tie Post Bottom Brackets

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Old 06-25-11, 12:39 PM
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Burying Simpson Strong Tie Post Bottom Brackets

We had a new porch built onto our house about 3 years ago. Recently, we dug out around the supporting 4 x 6 posts to apply waterproofing to them and discovered that the 4 x 6 PT posts were secured to concrete footings with Simpson Strong Tie Post Bottom brackets and then the whole thing buried under 6 - 8 inches of soil. The Simpson brackets appear to have been galvanized and are terribly rusted. This deck was inspected by local city inspectors and passed, as far as we know. We are wondering what to do at this point. We have thought to back fill the dug out area with rocks or sand to reduce moisture levels. Or, we wonder if we should have the posts replaced with new footers (above grade) and new brackets. Will these brackets ultimately rust and the deck drop down to the level of the footer and be unstable? We have not been able to find out specifically if these brackets can be buried, but it is appearing from reading on the Net that that is a bad idea. Any thoughts?
 
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Old 06-25-11, 01:52 PM
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Several schools of thought, and Mike will be along shortly with probably better ideas. But, you can always temporarily side-support the porch and remove the post in question, leaving the bracket in place. You can also drill 5/8" holes about 6" deep in the footer around the bracket (I would do 4 of them), expoxying in 1/2" rebar allowing 6" to stand proud. Form up the footer (with wood or with 12" sonotubes) and pour to where the new post base will be above grade. Use 6x6's to replace the 4x6's.
 
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Old 06-25-11, 11:09 PM
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Your post bases shouldn't be below grade. Assuming that your existing footings were poured in native soil (not fill), then Larry's suggestion of epoxying rebar into them and extending the footings up and installing new post bases will work just fine. Make the concrete extention as large as the original footings or slightly SMALLER -- an inch less on each side -- if frost is an issue.

Whether to use 4X6 or 6X6 for the posts will depend on the beam that the posts are supporting. if it's a 4X (or dbl 2X) beam, then you're pretty much stuck with staying with 4X6 posts. Simpson doesn't make a post-to-beam bracket for attaching a 4X beam to a 6X post as far as I know.

Temporary supports and work through it one post a time. Dig the first out, epoxy the rebar in and let it cure at least 24 hours. Pour concrete and let it cure at least 48 hours. (Letting any part cure too LONG isn't a problem -- Hurrying into the next step without enough without the previous one being cured WILL BE a problem.) None of the steps involve more than a couple of hours. Just give each PLENTY of drying time. Don't plan on finishing this thing in a weekend. We're talking a month or so, a few hours here and a few hours there, to get it all done.
 
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