Repairing Rot On A Porch
Today was spent repairing this porch. Most of the rot we found on this porch repair can be attributed to the lack of gutters on the roof above and drip irrigation.
Sprinklers Cause Accelerated Rot
The hanging plants also have automatic “drip irrigation” watering hoses. One morning I observed these plants overflowing and dripping on the deck below – also a factor in the decking rotting prematurely.
We had to replace several floor boards, outside skirt boards, one complete post and the entire trim to a second post and lower trim on a third post. The photos below relate mostly to the post replacement.
Above: In my typical “get it done” fashion we started demolishing the rotted column before photographing it. Here is the old non-pressure treated column cut up and ready for the trash bin.
Improper Lumber Can Cause Problems
Using non-pressure treated lumber outside in a structural situation like this porch repair and post replacement is a recipe for disaster. The post that rotted was 15 years old.
Exterior Wood Use Pressure Treated Lumber
Above: New triple 2×6 pressure treated post installed. The decking below the post needed to be replaced as well. Notice the white primer paint.
It is important to protect all edges of wood to keep out moisture. I primed all the sides of the decking that the painter will not be able to get to.
New trim was applied to the post. If you click on the photo to enlarge it you will notice that the trim is not touching the porch flooring. We do this on purpose.
Keep Post Trim Off Deck
Keeping the trim off the decking helps prevent rot. When trim sits on a horizontal surface it is more likely to seep moisture through the trim boards end grain. Keeping it off the deck separates the board from the moisture.
Cover Gap At Deck With Base Trim
The bottom “post base and scotia molding” was applied. We used Azek PVC trim in this location since it is more likely to get wet from the dripping of the roof, snow melt, close proximity of the bushes and the drip irrigation system.
Look for Causes Of Rot
In order to prevent this from happening again we adjusted the sprinkler “drip irrigation” zone to water less than it was and advised the landscaper to keep the bushes at least 12 to 16″ off the porch boards.
The best fix would be to install gutters but the homeowners like the look of the large crown molding fascia detail.
Capital Or Head Trim
Top post trim or “capital trim” applied. these posts were primed and caulked and now await the painter Mark O’Lalor.
~ concord carpenter