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Question DetailsAsked on 7/27/2012

repair wood decks dry rot problem, support 4x4's are sunk just in dirt, no concrete

Wood joists are laying on dirt, and the moisture from ground is rotting the wood! How to fix

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2 Answers


Take steps apart use old wood to fill in top of deck,rebuild from the top any rotted out wood. Might buy you a couple of years. Short an simple deck is not repairable for any length of time,


Answered 8 years ago by jccasper


It's tough to answer this question without pics or more detailed info., so just to clarify: are you saying your deck uses support posts (4x4's), but the joists are so low to the ground they are in contact with soil? if so, best solution is to dig/rake out ground from underneath deck being careful to slope away from house. If not possible to access entire area under deck, try to just rake out dirt under each joist so it is not in contact with soil; replace with small drainage gravel (#57 or something similar). If you are saying that because the 4x4's are sunk in dirt it is an issue, using concrete is just as bad for moisture/rotting problems. If you just mentioned the 4x4's are in dirt so that we would know they can be dug out and replaced, then you might want to consider doing that: dismantle deck completely; grade dirt/ground underneath deck; lay down a weed block fabric or similar; spread gravel; rebuild deck. If deck is low to ground, consider using concrete deck blocks (pier supports) that are anchored in the ground a few inches and put the 4x4's and/or joists on them (yes, they are designed for that). In fact, if the deck is REALLY low, you can skip the 4x4's and just put the joists directly on the concrete pier supports.

Answered 8 years ago by cgtconsulting

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