Wood rot is a problem that many homes face, but not many individuals realize how big of a problem it can become if left unchecked. Whether it’s the doors, window frames, or wooden siding, rot can slowly eat away at your home—increasing your energy bills and decreasing your home’s overall value. It’s for this reason that knowing how to repair rotten wood is a necessary skill set for any homeowner.

Remove the Rotted Area

Before you can fix the damaged areas of your home, you have to be sure to remove the already rotted pieces. You can easily accomplish this process with the clawed end of a hammer. Using the claw at the base of the rot, you’ll be able to dig out the tainted wood by applying pressure to the hammer as you pull back toward yourself. Make sure that you’re only scraping away the rot, as to not harm the healthy wood underneath. The amount of time it will take to complete this task depends entirely on how much rot you’re trying to remove.

Patch Area with Epoxy

After sanding away the rest of the rot and applying a wood restorer to the afflicted areas, paint over the revealed wood with a bonding agent. This will help fill in any of the gaps in the wood and make it easier for you to fill in the removed area. If the rotted area is small enough that you don’t need to replace it with wood, one method is to make a replacement out of a mixture of 2-part epoxy. Using a gun applicator, you can dispense the epoxy into the needed areas with perfect precision. Once the epoxy is fully dried, shape it to fit the surface by scraping off the excess with a putty knife.

Sand and Paint

Once the epoxy has had a chance to sit for at least 24 hours, you can go about the process of making the new section match the preexisting wood. Sand down any of the remaining epoxy so that all of the edges match up. After making sure that the gap is completely filled, you can then coat the area with a fresh layer of primer and repaint the surface to fit your taste.

It’s important to note that if more than just small sections of your home are falling victim to wood rot, you may need to completely replace those sections. Replacing full doors and window frames can greatly benefit a home that suffers from continuing rot.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.