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rkenney

How would you report this.

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What would you report (wording) this problem without scaring the buyer half to death. Beautiful deck all vinyl on top and barely 42" high, so no dirt was added afterward. Is it ground contact or total ground immersion.

House built in 2000 so deck is somewhat newer.

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Is it ground contact or total ground immersion.

Looks like both. Did you stick a screw driver in the ground to see if their was masonry beneath? Besides the deck being beautiful, was it sagging in any way? How important is this post load wise?

If you saw no failure, I'd say, "the deck columns should be sitting above grade on masonry footings," and leave it at that. As an inspector, you have no business saying the deck is beautiful or worrying about scaring the buyer. They have every right to be afraid. A beautiful deck can kill a person. Is it a major structural problem or not? I will say you are scaring me half to death.

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Hi,

It looks like PT wood. I'd poke around to see if it has a footing beneath it. If so, I'd let the client know that the post will probably last another 3 to 4 years before it starts to rot, due to that earth-to-wood contact, and recommend that, if they'd like to try to get it to last longer, they should try and clear the soil away from the base of the post and keep it as dry as possible. When/if they eventually replace the post they can seal the end grain and use a deck footer that will keep the new post above grade.

I wouldn't worry about linking to TIJ. Most non-inpectors that poke around in here have no idea what they're looking at anyway.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Do folks see good quality PT wood rotting when it's in contact with earth? Can't say as I have....maybe a couple times with the cheap stuff from Menards.

Not saying it's right, just curious.

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Do folks see good quality PT wood rotting when it's in contact with earth? Can't say as I have....maybe a couple times with the cheap stuff from Menards.

Not saying it's right, just curious.

Not here. There's still plenty of old decks around that were built exactly like that and are still as solid as the day they were built. That's just the way it was done at the time.

You post holed your way below the the frost line, dropped some stone back in, set the post, and back filled it with dirt, or wasted good concrete around it. They didn't move and didn't rot.

Sometimes this by the book stuff, is just fine. Sometimes, it's just puzzling.

What ever happened to that little yellow bury it for 75 years guaranty tag?

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Do folks see good quality PT wood rotting when it's in contact with earth? Can't say as I have....maybe a couple times with the cheap stuff from Menards.

Not saying it's right, just curious.

Around here, posts that are rated for ground contact are always incised. I don't see any incisions -- maybe it's just the picture.

The non-incised stuff doesn't hold up for more than a few years around here. The incised stuff is generally good for an easy 20 years underground, maybe more if there's gravel under it and around it.

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Hi,

Around here, unless it's .60 concentration and approved for ground contact, PT will last about 15 to 20 years with minimal contact with the ground. Buried in wet soil about 10 to 15 years.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I don't see pressure teated lumber rot at grade around Chgo. either. When I pour footings for decks I like the concrete at grade or just above. This makes for a cleaner look all around. Raised footings are butt ugly and hard to trim around.

If I pull a permit I do it the way the AHJ wants it.

If I was harsh it was because I believe Ken is conflicted with pleasing both buyer and the sellers, ie, real estate agents with his wording. That will get him into trouble.

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Do folks see good quality PT wood rotting when it's in contact with earth? Can't say as I have....maybe a couple times with the cheap stuff from Menards.

Not saying it's right, just curious.

Yes. All the time. I have a bunch in my yard and termites will also do a job on it. It may have a lot to do with what part of the country it's in. I've seen deck posts completely rotted through where they were run through a concrete surface. Standard PTW is not rated for ground contact.

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What is standard pressure treated wood?

.20 rated is for above ground use. If it is treated with .40 retention it is rated for direct contact with the earth. Try and find a 4 x 4 with a .20 rating.

For the record. It last a long time here in the humid, wet, termite ridden south when placed in contact with the earth.

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A hurricane once blew down a section of fence in my backyard that I had installed myself less than 3 years previous. The 4X4 treated posts (unknown concentration) were rotted all the way through at grade level but showed absolutely no rot above grade or where buried in concrete. Even the green color characteristic of new treated wood could still be seen.

Since then I've been wrapping 12" wide black plastic (used by bricklayers for flashing brick veneer beneath the lowest course) around the posts where they meet the earth.

Marc

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