Rotted Wood Columns
Many homeowners call us out to their homes to have a look at their columns, when we get there, we are sometimes surprised by what we see. It is quite common to see rotted wood columns however sometimes homeowners try to resolve issues with their columns in ways that make the rotting worse.
1. The most common of these is to wrap the already rotting wood Rotted Wood Columnwith something that they feel will protect the column from the elements. Although in theory, this is the way to protect the wood from rotting further, there are other issues at play here. Think about it, if you wrap your wet wood with Pre finished Aluminum Sheets, Aluminum Foil, Duct Tape or more Wood, will that repair stop the rotting? No, what it will do however is make the column look good for a period of time while underneath the new wrapping, the wood continues to rot. The rot will get even worse because the moisture does not have anywhere to go and will not dry out. Wet, rotting wood is the perfect way to invite carpenter ants to move in and further affect the structural stability of your columns by eating away at the wet wood.
2. Applying silicone or concrete to the rotted areas is quite common as well. The silicone will prevent water from entering the column but it will also negate any water already saturating the column from escaping. Once again, this will further rot the column over time. Caulking is used as part of our installation but is used only to prevent water from entering and damaging concrete underneath the new columns, it is not used to repair columns.
3. Adding small scrap pieces of wood underneath the rotted column. This is generally seen with older columns where the base has fallen apart due to rot and neglect. By code, any structural supports need to be made using a single piece of Wood, Metal or Fiberglass in order to maintain the structural stability of the support. You are not supposed to piece together supports. Think about a game of Jenga, how stable is the stack of wood you build up? as opposed to a single piece of wood of the same shape and size? Would you feel comfortable sitting on your porch with a Jenga style column supporting the weight of your roof?
While we do understand why homeowners turn to these solutions, we do not encourage the use of these “Band Aid” fixes. Our intent is to help homeowners and to let them know what to do when their columns start to rot in order to make the columns last a couple more years. Once the rot has set in, replacement is inevitable.
Capital Columns is a reputable, professional company that looks on your home as if it were our own. Our Design Consultants have years of experience and have seen it all, we have solutions that will help you. We encounter situations that are outside of our scope of work and if we cannot help you, we try to do our best to refer you to people who can. We have $5,000,000 liability insurance in the off chance that something goes wrong during our installation. All of our staff and installers are trained to look for additional rotting and structural issues.We have sourced out the best exterior materials available including, Fiberglass Columns, PVC Column Wraps and Vinyl Porch Posts which have proven to withstand everything Canada’s weather can throw at them.