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Rusted Steel Patio Posts

I have four 4" steel posts that support the patio overhang. They are beginning to perforate with rust after 20 years. Rust extends about 8-12" from concrete base. The swimming pool chlorinated water also contacts these posts adding to their demise, as they are on the "wrong" side of the drain.

Do I have to replace them? Estimates are about $400 each - wow....
I have OSFO treated them, but am beginning to worry about structural support.

Any thoughts and appreciated.

Palm Beach Gardens, FL

A. Spruce
Re: Rusted Steel Patio Posts

If they have deteriorated to the point of holes developing in them, get them changed out as soon as you can. While a total and catastrophic failure is unlikely, they are unsafe.

To prevent the same thing from occurring again, you can install structural fiberglass columns. These columns are able to support significant weight on their own OR you can install a structural post inside of them and just use the column for decoration and protection of the structural post.

Re: Rusted Steel Patio Posts


I don't know how handy you are, but replacing posts is not brain surgery and $400 per post is high. You just have to erect a temporary 2x4 support while you remove the old posts. Actually, that isn't even neccessary, but if you are nervous about it....

As rusted as the posts are, they should easily cut with a hacksaw bladed riciprocating saw. To get the new post in, you merely have to jack up the overhead structure with a piece of 4x4and an automotive bottle jack. You only need about 1/8 inch clearance to slip the new post in. I would replace them one by one, rather than have to support the whole structure at once.

What you use for footings and attachments to the concrete depends on what type of post you are using. There are preformed metal brackets that can be attached to the concrete and then a wooden post screwed to it. It may be possible to fill the whole left by the metal post with concrete with a bolt set in it.

A plain wooden post is not very attractive, although more so than a metal pole. A 4x4 post can easily be clad with simple board stock for aesthetic reasons.

The fiberglas posts, which Spruce has pictured, would certainly be an attractive alternative, although somewhat more pricey than simple wooden posts.

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