Dealing with Exterior Rot

Dealing with Exterior Rot

A painted turned support post on my covered porch is starting to rot at the base. It’s still minor, but I want to head off the rot. Other than removing the post, can you recommend a method of repairing the rot? I think I’ve heard of a material that can be “painted” on to the bare wood that would stop the rot. Any ideas?

Michael Dresdner: Not quite, but you are close. There are self-curing acrylic mixtures that can be poured into rotted wood, and they help solidify it. There are also liquid epoxy mixtures that do the same thing, and other epoxy compounds designed to replace missing rotted wood once you stabilize the spongy areas below. You will find both at most home stores and woodworking stores.

It would be remiss of me not to mention that in addition to stopping the rot, you should eliminate the condition that caused it. Wood posts that sit on a flat surface should be separated by post feet or post supports. These metal ‘stands’ elevate the post so that the end grain does not sit in standing water on the porch. Installing them after the fact won’t be easy – you’ll have to remove the post, shorten it by the height of the post foot, and replace it with the foot in place – but in the long run, it is almost a necessity.

Rob Johnstone: Once wood is rotten it is always best to remove it. Just pick it out with a chisel or even a wire brush. Then you can fill the voids with any number of epoxy-based fillers (even automotive products like Bondo®). Sand it to its proper shape, paint and no one’s the wiser.

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