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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central New Jersey
    Posts
    67

    Default Best way to fix rotting wood on exterior door ?

    Just recently I looked at two jobs where the front door (exterior side) jams and sills were rotting. On one of the jobs a handyman was hired to make the repairs. It was obvious that all he did was sand the wood, apply some filler and repaint. The homeowner was not satisfied with the results as they can still see the rippling rotten wood. Both of the doors are about 10 years old, fully exposed to the elements and the wood sills were not pitched, allowing water to pool. The jams were rotten from the sash and continued 8” up the jam.

    What have you found that works the best to make these types of repairs? In one case, removing the casing on the interior was not an option.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Best way to fix rotting wood on exterior door ?

    The best fix would be replace doors and without that option you might try a product from a marine store called (Get Rot) it soaks into wood and makes it as hard as the wood was to start with. I would have a hard time doing a poor job because the owner will always rember who did it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    4,264

    Default Re: Best way to fix rotting wood on exterior door ?

    Can you take a picture so we can see it?

    You could always apply bondo filler or the more expensive structural Wood Epox and sand it properly so there is no waves and then repaint. You could also cut out the sill and put a water return threshold to correct the water pooling situation. You could cut off 8 inches of the jambs, replace with custom milled sections(router, table saw) and then patch in the connection and paint.

    Best thing would be to replace the jamb, sill and casing with all new. What can the budget afford?

    Kirk G

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Dallas
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Best way to fix rotting wood on exterior door ?

    http://www.abatron.com/

    I've used their products to restore exterior door jambs that
    were damaged by dog scratches, and subsequently, rotting
    from the elements.

    I use their LiquidWood as a primer. It behaves like a very thin
    epoxy (which I think is exactly what it is), and when applied very liberally with a foam brush, the wood will soak it up. It is a 2-part product, just like epoxy, and smells like it, too.

    They also make a product called Abosolv that is thinner for
    LiquidWood, just in case the LiquidWood is too thick for
    the rotted wood to soak up easily.

    After it cures, I use WoodEpox to rebuild the the rotted wood.
    WoodEpox is also a 2-part product, but parts 1 an 2 have the
    feel of light-weight spackling. I knead the parts together until
    mixed, then press them into place, molding them with my
    fingers. I remember thinking the first time is used it, "this stuff
    is so light-weight and soft that I'll be able to tap it with my
    finger, and it will fall off." And was I ever wrong. It cured hard-
    as-rock and wouldn't budge. I was impressed.

    After the WoodEpox cures, I use a Fein Multitool to sand the
    the WoodEpox back into the orginal shape of the jamb, then
    repaint. It sands beautifully.

    I really like this product, but it's expensive. For me, I can
    justify the price, because I don't use it very often, and it
    has a long shelf life. Look at some of the pictures on their
    website; It's pretty impressive what some people have done
    with their products.

    They also advertise in Fine Homebuilding.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central New Jersey
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Best way to fix rotting wood on exterior door ?

    Here are the photos of the one job.

    http://www.jlmoldingdesign.com/rot.htm

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Holley, NY
    Posts
    508

    Default Re: Best way to fix rotting wood on exterior door ?

    I've used a lot of the wood consolidator to restore antique sash and sills. I've fixed sash that were so rotted they fell apart when I removed the glass. When finished, they're so strong you can put one corner on the ground and can't rack them if you try. I don't use their filler though, I mix fine sawdust with the wood consolidator and use that. It's water proof and damn near indestructible. The only down side is the fact that it takes at least 24 hours to cure to the point where you can tool it with grinders or sanders.

    On old homes I treat every window sill after stripping the paint, and believe me, after soaking up eight ounces of this stuff they'll never rot again.

    After tooling, the repairs are invisible and permanent.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    4,264

    Default Re: Best way to fix rotting wood on exterior door ?

    Now that we can see it, it looks like the best way is to remove the small pieces of wood a the bottom of the sidelights and replace them(cheaper than fixing) and use the bondo material on the door stop and properly sand and it will look fine and alse. Also caulk he seams. I still recomemend changing the sill and or adding a drip edge door shoe to the door.

    Kirk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Best way to fix rotting wood on exterior door ?

    There's a great article in the most recent Wood magazine about this and using epoxy glues/waterproof glues.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Martinez, California
    Posts
    14,926

    Default Re: Best way to fix rotting wood on exterior door ?

    I'd sell them a whole new assembly or walk. The door itself has been replaced is way out of character for the house. Nothing you do is ever going to look right there.
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central SD
    Posts
    606

    Default Re: Best way to fix rotting wood on exterior door ?

    I have used a few consolidents with good results. Mostly where historical consideration prevented replacing.

    I have had the best results by removing all lose , badly rotted wood and paint,then applying a product like liquid wood. A thin 2 part epoxy. That will soak in to the wood cells. I fill any voids with a 2 part epoxy with a filler like saw dust or beter yet dura-bond. much smother. Sand prime and paint. The problem is this is a fix and surounding wood will rot if the problems are not corrected. This is time consuming process and not inexpensive.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Best way to fix rotting wood on exterior door ?

    I replaced my door a couple of years ago. I had it professionally installed. I noticed that the wood on each side of the door is rotting again. The rot as at the bottom. I believe some of the moisture is reaching my subfloor. I am not prepared to pay for a new door as it cost me over $1,200 last time. so I am going to use the wood epoxy product and repair, especially since i caught it early. However, how do i stop the moisture build up or i am always going to deal with this??? I have attached a picture....
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Western suburbs of Chicago
    Posts
    5,554

    Default Re: Best way to fix rotting wood on exterior door ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Erilisi1 View Post
    I replaced my door a couple of years ago. I had it professionally installed. I noticed that the wood on each side of the door is rotting again. The rot as at the bottom. I believe some of the moisture is reaching my subfloor. I am not prepared to pay for a new door as it cost me over $1,200 last time. so I am going to use the wood epoxy product and repair, especially since i caught it early. However, how do i stop the moisture build up or i am always going to deal with this??? I have attached a picture....
    Epoxy is NOT going to stop moisture from reaching your subfloor. Unless there was a sill pan installed, you may be out of luck. To install a sill pan you need to (you guessed it) remove & replace the door.

    BTW - you should have noticed this on your way in...http://forums.jlconline.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=35112
    Greg

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    sonoma ,calif
    Posts
    1,854

    Default Re: Best way to fix rotting wood on exterior door ?

    if you are not going to replace the door pop out what you can, get a multimaster ,sharpen your chisel and remove the rest of the rot .patch with titebond 3 and wood .prime it ,prime again and use lots of paint .any cracks or anything looking like a crack that needs caulk gets it . where i have to or for speed i use multimend [like bondo but not ] . These are those projects I do that look like are not repairable but surprise me and please my clients .
    All i see is a threshold and some rotted jambs . a disolved threshold and a chance to save someone having to replace two sidelights and probable the door.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    3,599

    Default Re: Best way to fix rotting wood on exterior door ?

    I second the use of Abatron products to fix this type of rot, HOWEVER-

    Both of the situations shown are due to poor design/installation details. You MUST drain the water away, or any installation or repair is doomed to failure. You have to ask yourself, why did these installations fail in the first place, in such a short period of time?

    Look at what you've got: The sill at the sidelights does not slope properly or extend past the trim that wraps around the bottom beneath the sill. (There is no drip edge). So the water is running right down the crack between the two. Sure, you can calk that crack. But it's never going to be water tight for any length of time. This improper detailing appears to be the same in both situations.

    gburnet is correct also. You have to wonder about what is going on underneath this mess: Is the subfloor rotting out? Probably.

    Maybe its time to call a real carpenter.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Martinez, California
    Posts
    14,926

    Default Re: Best way to fix rotting wood on exterior door ?

    Harley:

    Looking at the picture it appears that it has one of those aluminum sills, those things, like most cheap sliding door sills, always leak becasue they put screws through the sill, sometimes you can't see them becasue they are covered by the threshold. Even if there is a sill pan the screws perforate the pan, at best the installers shoot some caulking into the holes before running the screws in, that may work for a few years but as soon as the caulking dries out the water is pouring through.

    Erilisi1, do you see any screws down there?
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

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