Tips for Filling Rotted Wood

rotting out plank on top of fencing
What You'll Need
Wood putty
Dust mask

Nobody wants to come across any type of rotted wood, but this situation is made worse when the wood is used for something important like doors and floors. You can replace the rotten wood but you can also repair it by filling the rotted areas. This isn't a job that is hard to do but there are some things to keep in mind when trying to fill rotted wood. Failure to do so can cause the problem to become much worse. The following article will share with you several tips on how to do-it-yourself and properly fill rotten wood in.

Check the Depth

Rotted wood can become very dangerous over time. If your wood floor is rotting away it is essentially unstable and walking over it can cause it to collapse. Countertops, tables and other structures of this type are not overly dangerous when you find pieces of rotted wood. A door that is rotting can be a security risk and for anything that requires stability, rotted wood is also very dangerous. Use a ruler and insert it in the rotted wood. If it goes in further than an inch or penetrates the other side then you may be better off replacing the wood. It is a good idea to fill areas of rotted wood when pieces of the original wood remain for the filler to adhere to.

Remove Rotten Wood

rotten wood on a house

When you discover holes in the wood that is rotting you need to remove all of the rotten wood. You can use your fingers, a screwdriver, or a hammer depending on the size of the area. You want to remove as much of the decayed wood as possible to start with as much sturdy wood as possible.

Epoxy Filling

There are many types of fillings available on the market for you to choose from when filling in areas of rotted wood. One of the more favorable of these fillings is epoxy. This filling is liquid plastic and hardens as it dries. It will adhere to most anything you use it on including wood. Epoxy does not expand as it dries but it is hard to sand down flush so you have to be careful when you are using it so it does not overflow. If it does then you will have to quickly scrape it off the wood and smooth it out with a damp cloth. Epoxy is best used on a surface of rotted wood that is not hanging, like a door, as the epoxy can ooze out.

Wood Putty

filling hole with wood putty

This is the second most used type of filling for rotted wood. The wood putty is yellowish which makes it very noticeable in high profile areas. It is stiff enough to use for doors, on frames, and for the like without worrying about it oozing out of the wood. The wood putty also does not expand, but it is easily sanded to a flat surface that is flush to the wood once it is dry. The wood putty can be dyed and even stained which makes it great for using on doors, tables, and floors.