Rotted wood repair

9 Replies

Hi DIY experts. I have a spot of rotten wood and I could not replace it without running a huge project so I need a quick fix - how to help this spot which already started to rot. Well, first of all I need to keep water away - and this is my first step. And I am wondering what exactly I should apply to this spot to help the rotten wood stay longer.

Wood hardener by Minwax.  I just picked some up yesterday on the recommendation of my handyman to address a rotten window sill.  Haven't tied it yet.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Minwax-1-pt-High-Performance-Wood-Hardener-41700000/100376253

There are several products you can use to harden rotted wood:

All can be bought at HD

Two part epoxy - mix the 2 together, apply it and it will dry in minutes. Harder then concrete. Paint Department

Hot Glue - You can use a hot glue gun to apply it and it holds really well. Hardware Department

Durham's Water Putty - Great stuff! People love this product for its versatility. I've love it. Paint Department

Adam Bartomeo Tim Lindstrom THANK YOU, guys!!! The challenging part is that I have an access to this spot only from the basement - so I need something like spray or very sticky that will stick even if we will apply it from beneath
Originally posted by Adam B.:

There are several products you can use to harden rotted wood:

All can be bought at HD

Two part epoxy - mix the 2 together, apply it and it will dry in minutes. Harder then concrete. Paint Department

Hot Glue - You can use a hot glue gun to apply it and it holds really well. Hardware Department

Durham's Water Putty - Great stuff! People love this product for its versatility. I've love it. Paint Department

I don't think any of these are appropriate for the type of repair in question, although the epoxy might be the best of these. Hot melt glue softens with any heat, even sunlight. And Durham's is a great product for holes that are dry and indoors - but the rotted wood likely got wet ...

The minwax product is intended for this purpose. Some might also suggest auto body filler - it gets exposed outdoors to the elements and remains hard. 

Right. Bondo works great. A termite inspector once gave me that tip. His company uses it for repairs. It's cheaper at Harbor Freight than at other stores.

@Jane A. You haven't said specifically what it is that you're trying to repair but there are several epoxy compounds made for wood. I've used many of them and like Abatron products the best (http://www.abatron.com/). Bondo is not really made for wood repair and will not last (it will fall out).

None of these will work if there is any wood movement or if the directions are not followed explicitly.  And very few are designed for structural repairs.  

The general process is that the wood in question must be made completely dry (12-16% MC). Then a consolidated is applied til the area is saturated. Finally an epoxy compound is applied and when dry, can be sanded & finished. 

Epoxy repairs properly done are time consuming and the products are expensive. They do have their uses but it is generally best to just replace the wood if you can. 

Steve Babiak Bob Hucker Barbara Goodman Thank you guys for sharing your expertise! Yes this is my first time I am trying to fix rotten wood instead of replacing it Art Allen yes I would prefer to replace it but it is a funny situation right now: imagine, we just replaced all flooring and all the sudden from the basement I noticed the piece of subfloor or something under it facing to patio with bad rotten spots. Well, I decided to protect this area from the patio side - we will build a concrete step there and make an insulation and I was wandering if I could do something else for this spot (it looks like real wood, 50 years old or so, it is beneath subfloor I think). Thank you very much, now I think I will be able to make it right. The challenge is to treat the wood from the basement.

@Jane A. Since it is the subfloor, I would say forget the epoxies. Your best bet without taking up the finished floor, is to just put solid blocking underneath. You can use treated 2x10's, on the flat, directly under the damaged areas and toenail or pocket-screw them in place. 

This is not the ideal, but if the rotted area is not too big, it will be fine.  The most important thing is that you address the original cause of the rot...which it sounds as though you've done. Good luck!

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you