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Ideas about sistering fences posts rotted at the base

Ideas about sistering fences posts rotted at the base


  #1  
Old 05-30-13, 04:11 PM
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Ideas about sistering fences posts rotted at the base

I have been suddenly struck by some out-of-the-box ideas about fencepost sistering and wanted to get some feedback. I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area, and around here, the typical 4x4 fenceposts rot at the base (top of concrete) and the rest of the post and fence is OK, so I sister the posts by digging a new posthole immediately adjacent to the concrete of the original, then bust up the concrete on the sister side, clean out rotten wood if any, drop in the sister 4x4 post (~1/2 the height of original), pre-drill both posts and lag-bolt the new post to the original post, plumb the posts, then pour the concrete and let set.

The above works fine, but the main hassle I'd like to avoid is busting out the old concrete. So, two alternatives have come to mind:

1) leave the concrete in place, and place the new post as close as possible (usually about ~2") to the old post, plumb it, pour the concrete, let set, then cut two wooden spacers to bridge the ~2" gap between the posts, and pre-drill and lag-bolt the posts together at the spacers. This will pull the old post to vertical; or,

2) Dig the hole for the new post adjacent to the old concrete, plumb the original post, then put the new post in at whatever angle it takes for its top to butt against the original post (perhaps bevel that corner to increase contact area), then pour the concrete, check plumb of original, and after setting, pre-drill and lag-bolt the posts together. This means only one point of contact between the sister post and the original, but it seems like it should do the job.

Note: For this fence, appearance is not an issue.

Either of these seems feasible to me, but maybe there's something I am not considering. Thanks for your consideration.

Dave
 
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Old 05-30-13, 07:00 PM
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You are not considering the fact that the cement caused the rot in the first place. It held the moisture which rotted the wood. Wood posts don't need concrete. That's for chain link & PVC.
 
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Old 05-31-13, 07:22 AM
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Thanks, Pulpo, that is definitely something I hadn't considered. Around here, anyway, it seems to be the standard--treated lumber in concrete with a sloping cap.
 
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Old 05-31-13, 07:31 AM
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Why not replace the wood with galvanized steel post? Let your grandkids worry about the posts when they finally need replacing..
 
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Old 05-31-13, 07:34 AM
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Yeah I agree with Pulpo, I could not see why you would pour a foundation for a wood post. Either switch the material or stagger them around the already poured concrete. I suppose what ever is easier as looks are not a priority but changing the material would help with longevity.
 
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Old 05-31-13, 07:54 AM
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Galvanized posts...thanks, that's a keeper idea. Longevity isn't much of an issue; the rest of the fence will need replacing by the time the sister posts rot (fence is at least 35 years old).

Non-concrete footing: do you just tamp the heck out of the dirt around the post? Or use gravel to fill?
 
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Old 05-31-13, 08:45 AM
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Gravel fill is what they say on the Home shows now. With metal posts easy to replace the fence without replacing the post. With galvanized I'd use concrete but I'm old school. Use only treated wood. Don't believe the BS about cedar longevity. I have not found it to be true.
 
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Old 05-31-13, 11:38 AM
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Heh, around here the no-rot faith is in redwood.

Thanks for the ideas---appreciated.
 
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Old 05-31-13, 01:56 PM
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You don't need gravel on wood either. Tamp it.
 
 

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