How to Replace Damaged Deck Posts

What You'll Need
Cinder block
1 1/2 inch plywood scrap
Post anchor
Hammer drill
Power screwdriver
Lag screw
Joist hanger nails
Ratchet wrench
Replacement deck posts
Measuring tape
5/8 inch masonry bit

Deck posts help to evenly distribute weight and if they begin to fail then the stability of the deck is in jeopardy. Since deck posts are made out of wood they are susceptible to mold, insects, cracking and warping. Repairing deck posts is a temporary fix which means having to replace them. This sounds harder than it is and the article that follows will explain how you do it.

Step 1 – Identify the Damaged Deck Posts

If you are going to replace one deck post you might as well replace all of them that are damaged. Crawl under the deck and thoroughly inspect all of the posts. Look for signs of insect damage to begin with. This will be in the form of small tunnels and even easily removed pieces of wood. Also look for mold and signs of cracks or chips as well as animal teeth marks near the bottom of the post. Deck posts can also warp and bow. Use a level along the posts to determine if they are free from warping. Place an “X” on the deck posts that you are going to replace.

Step 2 – Brace the Deck

In order to remove deck posts the deck has to be braced so that the stability is not further jeopardized. Put a cinder block next to the post that you are replacing; centering it under the beam and not the floor area. Put the jack on top of the cinder block and then place the scrap plywood on top of the jack. Raise the jack until the plywood touches the beam and then gently lift it up.

Step 3 – Remove the Post

Use the screwdriver or drill and begin removing all of the nails or screws holding the deck post to the beam. The deck post is also connected to a concrete pier at the base. Some posts are just resting on a wooden pad while others are bolted in place. Remove the bolts (if present) and then remove the post along with wooden pad. Remove the brackets from the old post.

Step 4 – Replace the Deck Post

If the concrete pier was acting as merely a base and the post was not bolted down then affix the masonry bit to the hammer drill and then drill a hole through the top center of the pier. Install the anchor to the pier using the washer and lag screw; tightening with the wrench. Place the new deck post into the anchor and use the level to make sure it is straight. Secure the post to the beam with joist nail hangers. If the previous post was bolted in place replace the wooden pad and then place the new post on top of it. Replace the bolts and tighten and then nail it to the beam with joist nail hangers. Slowly lower the jack.