correcting problems with eyebrow (overhang)

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Old 01-20-20, 07:44 PM
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correcting problems with eyebrow (overhang)

I did an earlier post a few days ago asking for caulk recommendations for an eyebrow ("overhang") over an entrance door into my home, but after taking a closer look at its construction, I realize that I need advice on more than just caulk. My main concern is protecting it from water damage so I've posted it in this part of the forum.

There are some cosmetic problems with the structure, but my immediate concern is to get the caulking done. Certain areas--areas not seen from ground level--were never caulked by the builder. Also, the wood has split in certain areas, and I'm not sure if I should caulk the splitting wood, use wood filler, or do something else. Pictures and details are below. I may post more questions about other issues with the eyebrow at a later time.

My first question deals with caulking an area where the eyebrow is attached to the wall. See the attached photo. There is about a 1/8 inch gap between the wood and a metal bracket attached to the wall. There is also a gap in the wood itself which I believe is there to allow the wood to fit over a part of the bracket--the gap is about 3 and 1/2 inches long. Is it ok if I just caulk over these gaps or should I try to get some wood filler in there first? Also, should I use some special kind of caulk/sealant due to the presence of the metal bracket?

My second question deals with splits in the wood which can be seen in the remaining 3 pictures. Two of the pictures are close-ups and one is from farther away. The split in the upper piece of wood has a bigger gap. The gap in the split in the lower piece is not as big and is almost "sealed" by the coat of paint. Any suggestions about what I could do to repair or improve the appearance of the wood and protect it from water?

My third question deals with the wood splinters around the fasteners in the piece of wood which has the larger split. Any suggestions on what I could do to clean that problem up?

Thanks for taking the time to read this and offer your ideas and suggestions. I'm not a very experienced DIYer, so I'm looking for relatively simple but still fairly good solutions.
 
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Old 01-20-20, 08:17 PM
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First off it's not technically an eyebrow, although some people call it that, incorrectly. An eyebrow is actually shaped like an eyebrow. Your overhang would more properly be called a timber beam lean-to shed roof, supported by corbels. The pieces you are asking about (at a 45 degree angle) are the corbels.

Wood splits and it expands and contracts. If you fill the splits with something solid, like Bondo or Durhams water putty, it will fill the gap for a while... but Bondo and water putty are not flexible. Caulk will fill gaps but it often shrinks back and may not stick. Painters putty is often preferred for certain repairs because it usually stays pretty soft and you can use a putty knife to press it into the cracks.

The splinters can be sanded down flat. Divots can be filled with painter's putty.

Caulk is most often used to seal edges... and to make something look seamless / better. But if you do a poor job of caulking (i.e. smear it all over with your finger) then it ends up looking worse than if you hadn't caulked it at all. So use caulk judiciously. And never use Silicone anywhere you intend on painting.

if the gap in your first photo is the top edge of the protruding horizontal beam, then yes that out to be sealed up with something. Since you cant see it from the ground, I would think a good heavy bead of caulk would work well there, tooled flat with a putty knife.
 
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Old 01-21-20, 12:34 PM
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Thank you for your help! I was worried that the split wood could be a major issue, but painter's putty sounds like an easy fix. I'll try a sanding block for the splinters, and if that doesn't do the job, I imagine I can get a sanding attachment for my electric drill. And yes, that is the top edge of the beam in the first photo. It's been caulked all the way around except for the top.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 01-21-20, 07:04 PM
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Yes, the thing is they will probably keep splitting as they expand and contract... so if you want them looking perfect it will just be a maintenance thing. But keeping water out of those cracks with putty and paint is smart... it will help them last as long as possible.

That gap on top is the worst since it would catch and hold water inside. No wonder it was splitting!
 
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Old 03-10-20, 11:36 AM
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Hello DIYers,
I'm an inexperienced DIYer, and I have another question about my shed roof /overhang repair project. I started it weeks ago, but never finished due to some bad weather and my own busy schedule. Anyways, I've caulked and made repairs to the parts of the structure which are most exposed to moisture, but I'm not sure about how to caulk the underside of the structure.

There is a metal strip (possibly aluminum) about two inches wide which runs along the perimeter of the structure, and on the underside of the structure there is a gap between the metal strip and the wood. The gap runs all along the metal strip/perimeter and is wider along certain sections than others. At its widest, it is about 1/4 inch to 5/16 inch. I've learned that there is a foam material called backer rod which is good for filling in gaps before applying caulk, and I'm wondering if I should try using it. If so, should I use closed or open cell rod? Also, what size diameter rod should I use? Of course, it would need to be wider than the gap in order for it to stay in place, but how wide? Is it better to get something thicker for a real tight fit or not so thick for a looser fit?

I have attached a photo of part of the structure to show the gap. It is near the bottom of the photo above the oval-shaped vents which are on the townhouse next door. (The photo also shows small gaps between pieces of wood which need to be caulked also.)

Thanks to everyone for their input. I greatly appreciate all the advice I've received in response to my earlier questions!
 
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Old 03-10-20, 11:41 AM
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I dont think your photo made it.
 
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Old 03-10-20, 11:41 AM
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I just posted a message and for some reason the photo I attached does not appear with the post. The photo will hopefully appear in this post
 
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Old 03-10-20, 11:44 AM
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You would use 3/8" backer rod for a 1/4" gap. It just needs to fit snug enough so that the caulk doesn't cause it to sink away as you caulk and tool.

Typically I will buy a bag of 3/8" and a bag of 1/2" so that if one gets too loose (because of a tapered gap) I can use the other one.
 
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Old 03-10-20, 11:49 AM
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Thanks! Does it matter whether it's closed or open cell?
 
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Old 03-10-20, 12:03 PM
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I believe ALL backer rod is closed cell.
 
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Old 03-10-20, 01:22 PM
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I searched for it on Home Depot's website and found rod that was identified as "closed cell" and other rod that was not identified as either closed or open. I could not find any rod that was identified as "open cell." But when I do a google search on it, I find info that talks about open cell rod. I'm guessing that closed cell rod is used much more often than open cell and that's why I can't find it on Home Depot's website.

I googled open vs closed cell and found a webpage of a manufacturer with the info below.

Closed-Cell: For joints susceptible to the presence of moisture prior to joint sealing such as horizontal joints.

Standard Backer Rod - suitable for glazing installations, window & door applications, expansion joints, curtain wall joints, partitions, log construction, pavement jobs, repairs, precast units and copings.

Soft Backer Rod - suitable for specialty applications where standard backer rods are not appropriate. They are ideal for irregular joint applications, particularly where free flowing and self-leveling sealants are employed.

Open Cell: Designed for sealant materials that are moisture cured. Generally used with low-modulus, slow-curing, high-performance silicone sealants. Suitable for expansion and contraction joints, window glazing, curtain wall joints, partitions, precast units and copings, parking decks, bridge construction, etc.

While they both can be used in cold temperatures, open cell performs better in extremely cold temperatures.

 

Last edited by XSleeper; 03-10-20 at 03:45 PM. Reason: Removed link
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