I have a two story deck. I noticed earlier this week the upper deck is sagging. It appears the support beams that were lagged into the 6x6 post have rotted. This is return has allowed the joists to sag. I can put temporary bracing up and get a new support beam, but I’m afraid the current post also needs to be replaced which means a much larger effort since its holding the bottom deck. Thoughts on how I might provide the support needed to lift the support beams which will provide the joists the support they need? enter image description here enter image description here

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  • Is there evidence of rot in the post as well, or does it need to be replaced for some other reason? Jul 29, 2019 at 13:04

1 Answer 1


There may be code differences between my area and yours, but beams bolted to the post as in your picture #1 and #3 are not allowed here. Recommended connection is to notch the post and rest the beam in the notch, or at a minimum use metal beam supports bolted/lagged to the post below and through the beam (typically the beam support bracket would be for a non-load bearing connection like for an awning and not the deck floor).

If your post is rotted, you really should replace it along with the other rotted members. The joists themselves in your photo are showing early signs of water saturation which leads to rot and those will need replaced soon if not already. I recommend checking all your framing members for rot and either replacing, or bracing all of them with the understanding that you'll need to replace them or your entire deck soon.

If all you're worried about is replacing a few beams, you can use hydraulic jacks to support the old beam as you do so. Check some online resources for proper post notch and beam installation, they show how to do this in the middle of a span as well as at corners.

  • 1
    At the time that deck was built lag screw attachment was still common. If you do use jacks, place lumber under them to spread the load so you don't damage patio pavers or whatever.
    – isherwood
    Jul 29, 2019 at 13:54
  • That is a myth: there is nothing in the Building Code that prohibits bolted connections.
    – Lee Sam
    Jul 30, 2019 at 0:18

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