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tractor12
Frequent Contributor

poles in pole building rotting off

have a chance to use a pole building for storage thats close by, built in about 1980. it has almost all the six by six poles rotted off right at ground level, that i think can be fixed fairly easy, can i dig down by each one and install a new one four feet deep and then bolt it right to the old one?  throw in some sackcret and  water and pack it down.  it has some gravel but mostly dirt.  the worst part is a  twenty foot slider door, the  main  poles  on each side are also rotted , and the building is sagging and hard to open doors..   Can i lift the building somehow and dig downn  with new six by six  and bolt them to the existing poles to suport the door frame, am i thinking right or  wasting my time ,, i think the regular poes wont be to bad but i am not sure obout the door pole. any suggestions thanks.             the building is 40 by 80 which includes a 24 foot shop which is very nice and insulated and cement.

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12 Replies
Pupdaddy
Advisor

Re: poles in pole building rotting off

..Sounds easy doesn't it. Right up until you take the job on. I believe there are contractors that specialize in that kind of work....and I'm pretty sure they can do it a lot quicker than you will. It might be worth the money. I don't have any phone numbers...but I'm betting someone here will.

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infire
Veteran Contributor

Re: poles in pole building rotting off

tractor12 - I have a building right out my back door that did same thing, I used a bin jack lagged to the post ( but any thing could be made to work) to lift it back up into place, it doesn't lift as hard as you might think. Then I dug out all the rotted loose stuff from under the post, cut the post off square up far enough to have good post, drilled 2 holes in the post up from bottom & inserted rerod into them then formed & poured concrete under post, they have never moved since. Good luck!

 

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Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: poles in pole building rotting off

If you have the time, to be able to do one or two posts at a time, you can do it yourself.  The best way I have seen, is to cut the post up to where it is 'good', then bolt a steel plate to the bottom.  You will weld 'ears' to the plate, so you can lag-bolt the post into it from the side (this makes future repairs possible).  Weld re-rods to the bottom of the plate, and pour concrete under it. 

I have also seen prefabbed versions of this (where I think our contractor got the idea from) that you bury, that have some sort of adjustment up and down built into them, so you can correct things like your sagging door problem.  I have seen them, but have no idea who makes them.

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tractor12
Frequent Contributor

Re: poles in pole building rotting off

yes  i will try to do it myself after harvest. i think that way will work but do you mix your cement , use bags or call the truck, I plan to do a few at a time , dig a hole next to each one and lay the new one next to the bad one and then drill holes to bolt  it solid and dump sackcrete around pole.   thanks for all the responses. the company that built it is just 10 mile away but they do not build anymore, I will ask them what they would dol

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Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: poles in pole building rotting off

For doing a post or two at a time, they actually make 'post cement' in bags.  You just open how ever many bags you need to do one at a time.  It sets up fairly fast, and is supposed to be stronger than the standard bagged stuff.  I have used it to repair posts in hog facilities that the hogs chewed through, and if I remember right, it cures well enough in 24 hours, to support the post.  You could do a couple one day, and the next day anchor it, and move on to other posts.

 

http://www.sakrete.com/products/detail.cfm/prod_alias/Fence-Post-Mix

 

 

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nwobcw
Advisor

Re: poles in pole building rotting off

  Slightly off subject:  An option with new buildings is to use concrete posts in the ground then bolt wood to the tops of them about 2 feet above ground.  While it seems like a good idea to eliminate rotting posts I would think the 2 piece posts create a weak point in case of high winds.

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farmer72
Member

Re: poles in pole building rotting off

I have the same problem with one of my sheds.  I thought about replacing them they same way you are talking about but thought that 30 years down the road I would have the same problem.  I'm still young enough that I don't want to have to do this twice.  What I decided to use is a post sleeve.  I have not done it yet but basically we are going to build post out of 2x6's then you slide them into this hard plastic tube that is closed on the bottom.  Drill through the 2x6's and your old post then insert ready rod all the way through.  You can seal around the top if needed but this way there will be no moisture around the wood.  You still have wood in the ground for support but no chance of it rotting.  I sure hope it works as good as I just described it. 

 

Also someone had replied about the concrete perma collums that you just bolt the bottom of your post to.  I am planning to build a shop and thought that might be the way to go but was concerned that it may not be as strong as having posts in the ground.  Does anyone have any more ideas on this subject?

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Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: poles in pole building rotting off

I talked to my cousin, who fixed up an old pole shed.  He used old pivot pipe (6 1/2 to 7 inch diameter galvanized steel pipe, not hard to find after a storm goes through, LOL), set in the ground about 3 feet or a little more, and at a length to stand about 3 feet tall in the building.  He poured concrete around them, and let them set up good, and bolted his building poles to them using through bolts.  He then put a few pieces of rebar down into the pipes, and poured them full of high-strength concrete.  Either he put the 'nut' side of the bolts through the pole, or used a big ready-rod, because if I remember right, there is about 4 inches of threaded rod past the nut that holds the pole to the pivot pipe, in the off-chance he ever needs to replace a pole.  I think he used several 3/4 inch (or bigger) bots/ready rod per post.  With the pipe full of concrete, and some rebar in it, it should last his lifetime.

Really, I would think one could use almost any pipe for this type of project, even reject PVC pipe or something, as the reinforced concrete, is where the real strength comes from.  He just used pivot pipe, because it was cheap, easy to find, and was rigid enough to hold the pole up on its own, so he could bolt the pole to it, before he filled them with concrete.

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hardwayfarmer
Veteran Contributor

Re: poles in pole building rotting off

This whole subject has been discussed here before.  When we had our 40x60 built 3 years ago I talked with the builder about using the concrete Perma-columns.  I think then they were several hundred $ a piece.   I can look up his quote if anyone is interested.  He was also concerned about setting the wood columns on top of the Perma-columns and creating a hinge point for a wind storm to take advantage of.  He recommended, and we used Post Protectors.  They are a plastic sleeve that slips over the bottom of the 6x6 columns.  I don't remember how long they are, but long enough to extend above the ground a few inches depending on how deep you set them.  I was concerned about any condensation or water that might get trapped in the sleeves, so they used a circular saw to cut an "x" in the end of each sleeve before they put the columns in the holes.  Of course, they poured a concrete pad in the bottom of each hole for the columns to stand on.  With the Post Protectors there is no contact between the soil and the columns.  I probably won't be concerned anymore by the time ours might rot off.

 

When we were planning the building we got quotes from Morton, Wick, and Lester.  They all use 2x6's sandwiched together for their columns instead of solid 6x6's.  Morton's columns are actually 2-piece assemblies.  Their base column is 2 long 2x6's with a shorter one in the center.  Then the upper, tall part of the columns have a longer 2x6 in the center so when they set them on the base columns they work like a mortised joint.  Seems like that could create a hinge point, too.  To me, the main advantage of the laminated columns over the solid ones is that the treating chemicals should go all the way through the 2x6's, where it usually doesn't get to the center of the 6x6's.

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