6 Easy Steps to Dry Rot Repair
Moist wood is the perfect breeding ground for fungi. As the
fungi grow deep in the damaged wood, the tiny spores eat away at
the wood and create new spores in the process. The result is wood
that is cracked, porous, and unstable. This is known as dry
Steps to Dry Rot Repair
If the dry rot is found in a weight-bearing area, the wood
should be torn out and completely replaced. However, dry rot repair
can be done in place for areas like baseboards, window frames, and
trim. Here's how:
- Eliminate the source of moisture.
There's no point in repairing an area that will be damaged again.
Find the source of the moisture and eliminate it before you
- Dig it out. Remove as much of the
dry rot area as you can, and undercut the area so the filler you
use will stay in place.
- Prep the surface. Drill shallow
holes around the margin of the wood, creating tiny "cups" that will
hold liquid. Then fill the holes with a "wood hardener" liquid that
protects the surface and gives the filler something to hold onto.
You can choose a one-step treatment or an epoxy blend. If you have
trouble getting the liquid into the little cups you drilled, use a
- Fill it up. Choose a high-quality
wood filler and carefully mold it to the area, pressing it into
place. If the dry rot area is large, cut a piece of wood a bit
smaller than the area, embed it in the filler, and nail it in. Fill
the space around it with putty until the area looks as it did
originally. The putty allows the wood to expand and shrink
naturally without forming cracks in the repaired area.
- Sand it. After the filler has had
time to cure, sand it smooth. Sand the surrounding wood, as well,
to create a smooth, elegant line.
- Prime and Paint. Use a high-quality
primer and allow it to dry before brushing on the paint. More than
one coat might be necessary to make the area look uniform.
When to Call a Professional
If you have a wide area of dry rot or feel uncomfortable with
dry rot repair, stay on the safe side and call a contractor to
handle the job for you. If the dry rot is in a weight-bearing area
of your home,
calling a professional will give you the peace of mind of knowing
the job is done, and done well.
About the author: Shannon Dauphin is a
freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was
built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her
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