Repairing or Replacing Rotting Wood
How to repair wood siding and other wood trim with damage or wood rot
Many houses are made from timber or have large parts of it. With time wood will experience damage because of exposure. Changing temperature of heat and cold affect wood. Moisture from rain and snow also affects it with time. Even fungal growth on wood will result in damage and rot. When wood is continuously exposed to moisture, it will store water and then start to rot from the inside. If you notice this at an early stage, you will be able to treat the wood and repair it using wood filler.
Repairing rotting wood
This method is of advantage because it won’t require replacing the timber which can be expensive. This is something that you’ll do fast and quite easily. When you use good quality filler, the timber will last a long time.
- Protect your hands by wearing gloves. Start by identifying the rotten part and how deep it is.
- Then clean it using sandpaper. The sanding will get rid of any remaining paint, primer, rust, and the rotted wood. Always go a little deeper than the rot has reached. After this clean out all the wood dust that you sanded.
- Next you’ll use a wood restorer of your choice to cover the area. Choose a quality restorer and apply it according to the instructions on the label.
- You may have to apply several coats and then leave it to dry for some hours.
Applying the filler
After those steps, your wood is ready for wood filler.
- First sand the area again before applying the filler.
- Mix the wood filler in a clean non porous surface ensuring that it is properly mixed with the hardener. You should have a fine mixture which you’ll spread thinly on your mixing surface. This keeps it from curing too fast. Always mix a small batch at a time as you have a very small window to use it before it cures.
- Next you’ll apply this mixture to the surface of the wood while pressing it in. Continue adding more layers of this until you achieve the required thickness.
- The next step is to allow it to dry. This will depend on the filler you are using. Once it dries, you’ll sand the area to achieve a smooth surface. Sand the edges as well ensuring that both the edges and surface align with the rest of the wood.
- Finally you’ll prime and paint the wood surface according to the result that you want to achieve.
Replacing rotten wood
- First you’ll need to measure the rotten part of the wood that needs replacing. This will guide you in purchasing the timber for replacement. Sometimes you’ll have to replace the entire piece of siding or board that is rotten.
- When a piece of siding is rotten, care needs to be taken when removing it so that the other timber on the wall is not damaged. To replace siding, you’ll need to remove the board above the rotten one. Do this carefully with a flat bar which you’ll push underneath the board. You can force it under with a hammer but be gentle.
- Sometimes there may be caulk underneath the siding. Use a razor knife to cut through this when pulling out the boards. You may not need to pull out the entire board, but just enough to cut out the rotten part.
- When the boards are loose, pull out the section of the siding that is rotten plus a little more. Then mark out where you want to cut it with a ruler and saw it off.
- Now cut a similar length piece of replacement board and slip it into the space. Don’t make it too tight as siding tends to break easily.
- Next you’ll use a nail gun to nail all the pieces in. Normally small nails are used for this and their holes are then filled before painting the siding.
- When you replace the siding, ensure that you don’t align the seam with the previous one. Water damage occurs sometimes when seams are aligned and it has an easy channel to travel through.
Repairing and replacing your damaged or rotten wood siding is something you can do on your own. Alternatively you may enlist the help of a friend especially when removing and replacing siding. If you’re quite confident with your tools, then you can spare yourself the cost of a professional.