Coating of protection paint being applied to wood against rot

How To Repair Rotted Wood?

8 July 2021

Having rotting wood at your property is not what any homeowner wants to be dealing with. Older properties are the most prone to suffering with rotted wood.

The aesthetic appearance of the building is not the only problem when dealing with wood rot. Depending on where the rotted wood is located, it can mean potentially serious damage to your property.

Rotted wood can occur due to the moisture content affected the timber. While rotting timber is most prominent in older buildings it can affect any type of property if the right conditions are in place.

This article will explain the types of rot that can affect your property and the ways of repairing rotting wood.

What are the Different Types of Wood Rot?

Before trying to tackle rotting timber, we will first explain what type of wood rot can affect your property. There two main types of timber decay that can cause problems to your building and these are called wet rot and dry rot.

Dry Rot

The most problematic of both wood rotting fungi is dry rot. The reason for this is that it does not require a high amount of moisture content. The moisture content needed for dry rot to occur is above 20%. This explains why dry rot is such a big problem for many property owners across the UK.

There are a number of signs to look out for when trying to spot dry rot:

  • Damp musty smell.
  • Fruiting bodies will be visibly shaped like a mushroom.
  • Timber will crumble when touched.
  • Mycelium growth will appear on wood.
  • Wood will have cuboidal cracking.

Dry rot is a serious problem and can cause serious structural damage to your building if not rectified quickly enough.

Wet Rot

Wet rot unlike dry rot needs a high moisture content to occur which is above 50%. If the timber is affected by a high moisture content, then it is more than likely that your property is going to be affected by a serious damp problem.

This will need to be addressed as early as possible before looking to repair the rotted wood. Possible signs to look out for when spotting wet rot are:

  • Limited mycelium growth.
  • Damp smell.
  • Linear or cuboidal cracking in wood.
  • Wood will be a darker colour due to the high levels of moisture.
  • Timber will feel damp or bouncy to touch.

As you can see the signs of wet rot are not too dissimilar from dry rot which is why we would recommend a qualified damp and timber specialist carry out a survey to correctly identify the type of wood rot.

How to Repair Rotting Wood?

Now we have explained the two types of wood rot, we can now go through ways of repairing rotted wood. If your property is only affected by minor timber decay, then this can in most cases be resolved by yourself.

However, when the rot has spread to other areas then it is best to contact a qualified team to repair the affected wood. When you have similar sections of timber that are rotting then you can carry out the repairs yourself with the following steps:

  1. Removed Affected Timber – The first step in repairing the rotted timber is to carefully remove the affected wood. This process will need to be as precise as possible as you do not want to remove any health timber. The best tool for this procedure would be to use a chisel. A lot of debris will be left behind after the chiseling has been carried out, so this will need to be cleared but the next part of the process is started.
  2. Use Wood Hardener on Exposed Areas- Moisture is the biggest cause of rotted timber so the use of wood hardener on the chiseled areas will provide a seal to prevent water from seeping in. A small paintbrush should be used for this part of the process and will be applied to any of the exposed areas.
  3. Use Epoxy or Wood Putty to Fill the Wood- To make sure there is an even finish, wood or epoxy filler should be applied to areas of wood that need to be filled. Make sure that any excess putty is removed before it dries, so we would recommend, that this process is done as efficiently as possible.
  4. Sand Down the Wood- Once the epoxy or wood putty has dried up, you can then sand down the putty so that it matches the rest of the wood. After this has been completed, simply remove any wood extracts and dust.
  5. Prime the fixed area- If you are looking to paint the newly fixed area then it might be best to apply the primer, with a paintbrush, onto the area. Make sure the primer is left to fully dry before moving onto the paint.
  6. Painting Time- Once all these steps have been carried out, then it is time for you to paint the wood. Depending on what type of finish you are looking for will depend on how many layers of paint you will need to apply. Once the paint has been applied, then the repairing wood process is complete.

Severe Wood Rot? We Can Help

We hope this article has provided you with a good explanation on the types of wood rot that can affect your property along with a simple guide on how to carry out minor repairs on rotted wood.

As we stated earlier, if the building is suffering from severe timber decay, then contact a damp and timber specialist.

At Timberwise we have damp and timber specialists across England, Scotland, and Wales and with over 50 years of experience, you can rest assured that your property is in safe hands with our team. To get in touch by simply calling 0800 288 8660 or contacting us online.