I am remodeling my house and taking down two exterior walls that enclosed the entrance to our house. These two walls were improvements that were added later. I am taking them down and returning the entrance to it's original, open condition.
As I was tearing it down, I noticed rust around the base of the post. The majority of the weight rests on this post. The wood post sits on a metal footing and it is hollow. I don't know what it looked like originally, but the house was built in 1958.
Right now, I believe the walls that were added later are supporting some of the weight of the roof, so I am leaving them up until I solve this problem. The post itself is in great condition.
I dunno about that "replace that whole post with a PVC post". I would not expect a PVC post to bear any weight. If the existing posts were decorative _only_ then a hollow post might be suitable. But as its weight bearing I'd pour a raised concrete base and install a new metal post.
Having the overhead load come down some future date could be a might interesting.
Replace post, put in temporary supports for the post, remove post, anchor in new standoff post bracket, put in new post. If the bottom metal is that rusted, I would bet there is some damage to post and just replace it.
A PVC post can be structural, just depends on the product. You can also use fiberglass columns, just depends the look you want and also how much you want to spend. They also make steel wraps for the post to match about any color you want or have a siding contractor wrap the post with metal.
If a post is hollow had nothing to do with it being able to support any loads, it depends on the post.
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