Handyman Help: Repairing Rotten Wood

Rotting woodRotted wood on doors, stairs, and outdoor areas can be repaired with a bit of handyman knowledge. The project will require you to remove the rotted section and fill the hole with wood filler. Materials and tools may be found at EquipSupply.com including: a flat-head screwdriver, wood chisels, a hammer, wax paper, sandpaper, drill with driver bits, a paintbrush, disposable mixing tray, rubber gloves, safety goggles, rags, flexible putty knives and plastic spreaders, 2-part wood-patching compound, and 2-inch all-purpose screws.

Using the screwdriver or chisel, dig out the rotted wood until you get to wood that is strong and solid. Coat the exposed wood with the wood hardener to help guard wood against future deterioration. Note that some wood hardeners are highly flammable and toxic. It is important to work in an area that is open and ventilated.

Next, drive a few screws into the damaged area to support the patching compound. Situate the screws about an inch away from each other. Mix the patching compound until it has a glue-like consistency. Typically, the compound will dry within 5 to 15 minutes, so fill the damaged area at a steady pace. Use enough compound to overfill the hole, keeping the excess smooth. Allow the material to dry and then sand it down. Prime and paint the compound. Make sure to replace any damaged trim.

Another method for fixing rotted wood is via an epoxy penetrant and filler. Instead of replacing the damaged wood, it can be repaired with specialty epoxy penetrants and fillers. Doing so is generally faster and the fixed wood is stronger than the original.

Epoxy penetrants and fillers can restore rotted wood in windows, columns, frames, decorative wood components, and even broken furniture. If you are fixing wooden siding, rather than removing the boards, drill a series of holes one inch apart and halfway through the wood. Then mix the epoxy and paint it over the bad parts of the siding. A syringe can be used to inject the penetrant into the holes. After the material is hardened, use the epoxy filler to reshape the missing part(s) and paint over, if desired.