How to Save Rotting Wood
Use wood filler to correct the problem before the damage becomes severe.
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To repair wood that's started to rot because of frequent exposure to water, remove the rotten section and fill the hole with wood filler. And to keep from repairing the same wood over and over, try to reduce the amount of water that comes into contact with it.
Here's how to fix rotting wood:
Materials and Tools:
drill with driver bits
disposable mixing tray
flexible putty knives and plastic spreaders
2-part wood-patching compound
2-inch all-purpose screws
1. Use a screwdriver or chisel to dig out the rotten material and expose the solid wood beneath. Hire a professional to repair damage to structural (load-bearing) wood.
2. Thoroughly coat the exposed wood with wood hardener. This will help protect the wood against future deterioration. Some wood hardeners are both toxic and flammable -- be sure to work in a well-ventilated area.
5. Fill the damaged area with patching compound. Use enough compound to overfill the hole, and then smooth the area to reduce the amount of sanding you'll need to do later. In some situations, you can create a form to hold the compound in place as it dries. Just place a piece of wax paper over the compound and then clamp a flat board over it.
6. After the compound dries, sand it smooth. Then prime and paint the compound and replace any damaged trim.
Remember that it's about function and not appearance, and it's a process that doesn't happen overnight.