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Carpenter ants ate my porch post (Pics included)

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  • May 26th, 2021 6:13 pm
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Aug 6, 2007
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Carpenter ants ate my porch post (Pics included)

Moved into a new house a few months ago and recently noticed big black ants on my front porch. We had a trellis on the side of the porch with a large climbing rose wall. I removed it completely a few days ago and saw the ants coming in and out of one of the posts. I peeled back the paint and found a nest of ants. I sprayed pesticide and killed a bunch of them. I haven't seen any ants today, maybe they relocated - I doubt I eradicated the nest.

My question is how should I repair/replace the post. Any advice?
Images
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7 replies
Sr. Member
Jan 7, 2013
775 posts
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Oshawa, Ontario
Is there a metal or wood post underneath that wood cladding. Hopefully no damage to the structural supports. Otherwise just put some wood filler on the damage, sand, and paint.

You could also remove all the wood cladding, assess the damage, and replace it with a PVC type post cladding
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Sep 27, 2006
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Not so easy there Ma…
Carpenter ants don't tend to damage good wood, they prefer rotting wood. You should probe what's left of it to see if there's something solid in there.
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May 12, 2021
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That wood with direct contact with the concrete will rot continuously. After fixing any structural issues Id suggest a more permanent solution like a post anchor/spacer with PVC cladding.

https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/ha ... -hEALw_wcB
UNDFTDss wrote: Moved into a new house a few months ago and recently noticed big black ants on my front porch. We had a trellis on the side of the porch with a large climbing rose wall. I removed it completely a few days ago and saw the ants coming in and out of one of the posts. I peeled back the paint and found a nest of ants. I sprayed pesticide and killed a bunch of them. I haven't seen any ants today, maybe they relocated - I doubt I eradicated the nest.

My question is how should I repair/replace the post. Any advice?
[OP]
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Aug 6, 2007
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Shaidin wrote: Is there a metal or wood post underneath that wood cladding. Hopefully no damage to the structural supports. Otherwise just put some wood filler on the damage, sand, and paint.

You could also remove all the wood cladding, assess the damage, and replace it with a PVC type post cladding
I've been peeling away the wood cladding. I see a metal plate at the bottom. Maybe this is a post anchor? See image.
fergy wrote: Carpenter ants don't tend to damage good wood, they prefer rotting wood. You should probe what's left of it to see if there's something solid in there.
OK, I think i need to remove more wood to investigate. I'm just wondering if there is a 4x4 beam in the centre and all this wood cladding are just panels around it.
2000teamti wrote: That wood with direct contact with the concrete will rot continuously. After fixing any structural issues Id suggest a more permanent solution like a post anchor/spacer with PVC cladding.

https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/ha ... -hEALw_wcB
Thank you, I think there might already be a plate there, see photo. Is that plate anchoring a 4x4 wood beam? Can I safely remove all the wood panels and cladding around it? If the 4x4 wood beam is undamaged by the ants, I could just repair the pieces outside, correct?
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  • IMG_20210526_093224.jpg
Sr. Member
Jan 7, 2013
775 posts
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Oshawa, Ontario
Looks promising that it might be a metal post
Newbie
May 12, 2021
85 posts
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Yes, peel away. Personally I would probably cap the whole post in aluminum after rebuilding it.
UNDFTDss wrote: I've been peeling away the wood cladding. I see a metal plate at the bottom. Maybe this is a post anchor? See image.



OK, I think i need to remove more wood to investigate. I'm just wondering if there is a 4x4 beam in the centre and all this wood cladding are just panels around it.



Thank you, I think there might already be a plate there, see photo. Is that plate anchoring a 4x4 wood beam? Can I safely remove all the wood panels and cladding around it? If the 4x4 wood beam is undamaged by the ants, I could just repair the pieces outside, correct?
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Shaidin wrote: Looks promising that it might be a metal post
2000teamti wrote: Yes, peel away. Personally I would probably cap the whole post in aluminum after rebuilding it.
Well, well, well... Here is an interesting update. I pried open more wood and to my surprise, it's completely hollow. The porch post is not load bearing at all. The cladding all around is purely decorative so I can just replace the piece. That "metal" plate at the bottom is actually just a piece of petrified plywood on top of some plastic sheet, bolted into the concrete floor.
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  • IMG_20210526_180600.jpg

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