Easy Ways to Restore Rotten Wood

Hello Readers,

I have decided to write a blog for my Home Restoration website. Over time I will share many of the tricks I have learned over the last 40 years of being a home remodeler in Mill Valley, CA. Many of the tips revealed will help you save time and money, and engineer a quality finished product.

Rotten Wood
As most of us know firsthand, wood is not a permanent product. The minute it is milled and sent by truck to a lumber yard, it starts to slowly decompose. And as it is exposed to external elements such as rain, snow, sun and even pests, it won’t be long before you will need to make repairs or replacements.

Here are a few tricks to slow down decomposition of some of the common wood species. For Douglas fir, it should be primed (two coats) and painted with a good latex paint. Redwood should be allowed to dry then sealed with two coats of quality water or oil-based stain-sealer. No wood should ever touch earth and, if possible, concrete. No wood should get wet without a sealer applied first .When installing fence posts, I recommend setting the posts into Simpson steel post brackets that keep the wood away from the concrete, thus giving it an unlimited lifespan. Posts set in concrete will rot given enough time, and when they rot the fence will fall over and you will be looking eye to eye at your neighbor.

How to Deal with Rotten Wood?
Say for instance, you are prepping your house to refinish the woodwork and you come across a section of rotten wood. What should you do? First dig out most of the soft wood and clean your excavation. Next, with a small brush, soak the new cave with a two part epoxy rot stopper and let cure. I like to fill and finish the hole with bolt anchor cement because it is tough, waterproof, and cheap, and it cures in ten minutes. The key to success is to place as many decking screws as possible into the solid wood beneath the soft wood as reinforcement and anchor. Do not let the heads of the screws protrude above the finished wood surface. Now that the screws are in place, fill the damaged area with the mixed anchor cement and smoothen it to the wood shape, and let cure. After curing, prime the repaired area and touch up with spackle as necessary. Once the paint dries, lightly sand and give it another coat of primer. This is a permanent repair that will never fail and will not be seen. Only you will know that the wood had a serious rot problem that is now completely repaired and thus invisible to everyone else.

Because you anchored the cement putty in place with all those galvanized decking screws, it will never move or release from the wood.

It is always best to take the time to make your repairs permanent as it is no fun to have a repair fail. Always anchor your deep fillers with decking screws that act as a foundation. This is the best way to permanently hold a repair for the long haul. And if you need the help of an experienced home remodel contractor in San Rafael, CA, you can always give me a call. – Dave

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