Rotted wood is a problem many homeowners face on a regular basis and there are several ways to make the repairs. The method you use may depend on a couple of factors, such as is the repair on the interior or exterior of your home. Some materials used to repair interior damage are not suitable for exterior use.
There are many ways to repair wood rot. The following are five ways to accomplish a repair so you can decide which method is best for you.
1. Replace the wood: If you are handy and have the right tools, replacing the wood is by far the best way to go. Lumber is available at your local lumberyard or the home stores that will fit most applications you may have. For older homes you may need to make the piece yourself or have a local sawmill make it for you. If the wood you are replacing is on the exterior of your house be sure to prime or apply a water sealer on all four sides before installing.
2. Durham’s Rock Hard Water Putty : Durham’s is gypsum-based putty that mixes with water and dries rock hard. The putty is moldable to any shape, does not shrink and bonds very well. Do not to use this product is wet areas because it is gypsum and is not impervious to water or moisture.
3. Minwax Wood Hardener : This hardener is in a liquid form, made from a resin and solvents that when applied the solvents soaks deeply into the wood carrying the resins with it. When the solvents evaporate, the resin remains to harden the soft wood to prevent any further damage. Allow the resin to dry for two to four hours before making further repairs. Minwax also offers two part wood filler that is actually auto body filler. This filler is excellent for repairing rotted and damaged wood if it is going to be painted, because body filler does not stain well. I suggest buying the Bondo auto body filler as it is cheaper and available at many of the stores where you buy Minwax products. Be sure to follow package instructions.
4. Liquid Wood : Much like the Minwax hardener in step three, Liquid Wood is a two-part epoxy that is applied to the affected area and allowed to dry. Liquid Wood is available in kit form, partnered with Wood Epoxy an epoxy based filler that acts much like the Bondo. These kits are more expensive than the other repair options but may last longer.
5. Git-Rot : Another two-part epoxy Git-Rot is normally used in the boating world. Acts much like Liquid Wood in application and in hardness but still needs filler. The company that makes Git-Rot also has a non-sagging putty filler they promise is as hard as steel when it cures. If you have a project that is exposed to water, as a boat may be, this step may be what you need.
No matter what level of damage you may have there is a procedure here to fit most repairs. Keep in mind the epoxy-based repairs are more expensive than the materials in steps two and three, but are also a stronger repair.