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Question DetailsAsked on 4/15/2015

who to call to replace rusted support pole in basement that is supporting a wood beam

I have a basement with a wood beam supported by 3 pole posts. One of them has rust on it and I think need to be replaced or fixed.

I am looking for qualified contractors to do this work.

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2 Answers


If you are up for a bit of DIY work, you can check it out and probably fix it yourself. I am assuming here that it is upright and not bending or crumpling at any contact point, and that the rust is not flaking off in slabs or holing through the post.

You can use some sandpaper - probably about 40-80 grit will work best. Sheet will work if you have it, probably easiest to use either strip aluminum oxide emory cloth (comes in a strip roll) or if you can't find a cheap small roll (hardware or home improvement or box store) a single 60 grit belt sander belt might be cheaper than a big roll - cut across it and then tear into 2 or 3 long strips for easier handling. Use it wrapped around the post and pull back and forth on alternate sides to sand the rust off (sort of like a shoe shineboy shines shoes) to sand through the rust at the worst points to check. If you can sand through the rust and there is not deep (over about 1/16") pitting or holing-through or severe flaking taking off a substantial amount of the thickness of the metal, you can just prep the surface and repaint it. A rough scabby rusty surface after sanding is not a problem as long as you get the loose rust off before painting, as long as it is surficial rust scaling and not general massive flaking away of multiple layers of rust eating deep into the metal.

To repaint- use the sandpaper or emory cloth to remove the all loose rust INCLUDING cutting a bit into the paint at the edge of the rusty areas to be sure to get at and sand all the rust, wipe clean of loose rust and dust with wet rag, let dry completely, then coat with thick but not runny coat (2 coats about 8 hours apart if can spraying) of Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer or equal over all the rusty and bare metal area, including the ends of the pole if rusty (jab or wipe in under top and bottomand brackets with scrap touchup brush or rag or Q-Tip if inaccessible), let dry about a week (till not at all tacky), then over-coat with Rustoleum or equal finish coat of desired color over entire column.

If other columns are not rusty but you are concerned, a matching coat of Rustoleum finish paint on them (or Clean Metal Primer then finish color is bare metal) would prevent future rusting for quite some time. SAFETY NOTE - Rustoleum and many other rusty metal primers are fish-oil based, in case you are allergic. If so, go with a brand without fish oil or use a chromic acid or zinc chromate based rusty metal primer instead - not quite as effective but better than an allergic episode. You can also remove the rust with Naval Jelly if so inclined - use GOOD rubber gloves, eats skin, use as suggested then prime with clean metal primer and finish paint.

If you are unable to above yourself but post doesnot need replacement, Handymen is your category - probably about half the cost of replacing the post.

And if it was rusting due to free water (say on floor) work to solve that cause. If general rust over the pole and it was painted originally, may indicate excessive humidity in that area.


If there is heavy flaking, deep pitting, holing through, or signs of the pole crumpling or bending or out of alignment or otherwise showing distress, then you need a Carpenter - Rough (Framing) or a Remodeling- General Contractor (your Search the List categories) to put in temporary props (usually 4x4's) under the beam, then replace the pole (and maybe its brackets). Typical cost assuming the pad or base the pole sits on (if any) is intact and does not need rebuilding - about $250-350 plus or minus - some of that will be labor going to get and cut the correct replacement post.

Obviously, any new post should be painted first, preferably with a clean metal zinc or zinc chromate primer and then matching brand finish paint - to save money you could have the contractor paint the ends of the post with the primer before putting it up (wet with paint OK to save labor cost), then you prime and paint the rest yourself.

If it was rusting primarily at the bottom, fit a flat-bottom plastic protector for it- bottom of a plastic food container or maybe shaving or deodorant can plastic cap or have contractor get a plastic pipe end protector (used to protect pipe threads during shipping) that will fit over the bottom of the pipe to protect from direct concrete or dirt contact that might initiate rust at that point.


For the inside of the post, if the ends are not sealed by the mounting brackets, I would let the paint dry thoroughly for a couple of weeks, then spray into the ends of the post with the primer paint, or ifcan't reach in with spray nozzleto do that, use WD40 - a good 5 second or so shot so it fogs the inside up with primer or oil, obviously pivoting the spray stem around as much as possible to get coverage. If putting in a new post, spray inside good with clean metal primer paint from both ends before installing. All the above paints come in both quart cans and spray cans - some in pint cans too, though a pint can might not quite cover an 8' post completely - would probably be close.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD



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Answered 5 years ago by Member Services

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