old, weathered, possibly termite damaged posts?

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Old 12-31-13, 12:30 PM
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old, weathered, possibly termite damaged posts?

Hello,

I'll be adding a railing to the posts on my front porch. The railing will span between the existing posts and post to house. Anyways, I was inspecting the existing posts and noticed 1) some splits 2) a hollow sound when knocking on them and 3) maybe termite damage. Can anyone confirm whether splits in these older posts are normal\OK, are they in-fact hollow by design, and finally is picture #3 termite damage? About 4 months ago before the snow, I noticed a bunch of ants\termite bugs crawling around in the mulched flower bed directly below the porch. I pulled everything out of the bed and sprayed it down with termite killer. Below is a video of those bugs if anyone can confirm they are termites. Thanks for the advice!

[ATTACH=CONFIG]23798[/ATTACH]

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSOM_MIAVj0
 
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Old 12-31-13, 12:46 PM
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There hollow and made with strips of wood. Sort of like how a barrels made.
Looks like someone's attempts over the years of trying to fill in all the rotten wood at the bottom.
 
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Old 12-31-13, 12:50 PM
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Ahh, I see it now. Your barrel analogy makes sense. I can see that slat come down and stop about .5" from the bottom where like you said it looks like someone tried to fill it in. Thanks!
 
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Old 12-31-13, 01:55 PM
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Until you get ready to replace it [or maybe just the trim at the bottom] I'd clean up the gaps, caulk and paint it. Not a perfect fix but it's cheap and easy ...... and the average person won't notice the damage.
 
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Old 12-31-13, 05:41 PM
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You would do well to do some exploring, when time and weather allow, to see what condition the load-carrying portions of the columns (possibly solid 4 x 4s under the hollow cladding) are in. If they are rotten too, they may require replacement. Not a particularly difficult task, just a bit time-consuming, as temporary supports will need to be installed at each column location to hold the roof up while the columns are replaced. If just the bottoms are rotten, partial replacement is an option, providing an adequate splicing system, such as heavy steel straps, is used to make each repaired column act as a single unit.
 
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Old 12-31-13, 06:02 PM
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BridgeMan45,

Before I made this post I tried to find info on how these posts are manufactured to try and answer "are they supposed to be hollow" but didn't find anything. With your comment of additional exploring and repair, are you suggesting repair the existing post (the "cladding" comes off the assumed 4x4) or complete replacement? I guess what I'm really asking is are they repairable?

Thanks!
 
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Old 12-31-13, 06:29 PM
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The only way to determine if they are repairable is to do the "further exploration" thing, to determine the extent of deterioration of the interior, load-carrying members. If rotten wood extends more than just a foot or two up from the base, I would vote for complete replacement. The pix indicate that your house could be up in years (i.e., more than 70 years old?), meaning it's likely that complete replacement will be necessary.
 
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Old 01-01-14, 09:25 AM
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the marine use ' west ' system is good for wood repairs,,, as anything else good, it ain't cheap !
 
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