+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    177

    Default restoring decaying wood

    I am finally getting around to installing a new deck on our house. Problem is, I have to tie into a 4x12 beam that holds up the house. One of those beams has about 25% rotted at the top due to an old deck (outside of the house perimeter). I would like to firm up that material as best I can before bolting new beams to it. I had the idea to push some bleach in the rotted portion to try to kill the mold/bacteria or whatever is eating at the wood. Letting that dry for a while and then using some kind of epoxy or filler to sort of fill in the voids. I know this is not a great solution but it is the only thing I have left. I would have to do MAJOR rework to get that beam out and put in something new. The rotted portion is outside of the perimeter of the house so I feel a patch like this would be OK. Does anyone have an opinion about how best to restore what is already there? Thanks in advance for any help.

    -Walt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,616

    Default Re: restoring decaying wood

    Walt, why do you only come around when you have a question? You do realize that we miss you, right? Get your butt back here and play with us!!!!!!

    Without seeing the beam and the extend of the damage, it's hard to recommend a course of action. Typically, when it comes to rot, anything deeper than 1/4" to 1/2" and you replace the material. In this instance, IF the structure of the house is still suitably supported, and you can protect the beam from further rot decay, then you can leave it for now.

    Instead of bleach, I would recommend using a borate solution, sold under the name of Timbor, BoraCare, Termite Pruf, and others. The active ingredient you're looking for is Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate. Basically, this is a salt that is relatively non-toxic to humans and animals, but lethal to insects and mold. I've just recently used this on an active termite issue and within 3 applications, no more termites.

    Again, without seeing the beam issue for myself, it's hard to say what to do. If it is relatively benign, then I think I'd be inclined to treat it as described above, then sister a new 2x12 to the face, then install flashing to prevent further water from getting at the old beam or the sistered member.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: restoring decaying wood

    Hey Spruce,

    Sorry I have not been around in a while. I find myself in over my head in so many ways lately. There must be a part of me that likes it that way.....

    I should put up a picture of just how much of this beam is decaying. There is simply no way for me to swap this member out...and stay sane. I have pretty much spent the entire last year of weekends trying to get the house back in order. I still have a ways to go. I am fairly confident that this patch would be OK if it is addressed now while things are torn apart. I am approaching a state close to "burned out" with all this work...so finding this rot did not bring me to a good place.

    This weekend I got the posts established for this new deck so that lifted my spirits. I still have to mark them and notch 'em to get things right...so I am far from being complete. Still any progress is good right now. I will put up some pictures of where things stand. If curious, here is a link to some pictures I put up on the work from last summer http://smg.photobucket.com/user/walt...?sort=6&page=3

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,622

    Default Re: restoring decaying wood

    Walt you might consider slicing off the top of the beam and installing a Dutchman. Installed with screws and construction cement it would be more stable than epoxy patch.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,616

    Default Re: restoring decaying wood

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    Walt you might consider slicing off the top of the beam and installing a Dutchman. Installed with screws and construction cement it would be more stable than epoxy patch.

    Jack
    That's not a half bad idea, with a router and simple template, the damage could be excised pretty quickly and new material patched in as suggested. In lieu of a router, a skillsaw and many many kerfs later will achieve the same end.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: restoring decaying wood

    Thanks for the ideas. I cut back the bad portion as far as I could...but there is still bad material. I put up some pictures. These two give an overview

    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/walt...tml?sort=3&o=3
    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/walt...tml?sort=3&o=2

    These two give a close up view of the beam that is decaying

    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/walt...tml?sort=3&o=1
    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/walt...tml?sort=3&o=0

    I think I will still have to kill off whatever is eating away and fill in the gaps with something

    Any thoughts?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: restoring decaying wood

    BTW...are there any fungicides offered at Home Depot that would fit the bill? They seem to sell fungicides....but seemed marketed towards plant\garden treatments.

    Also...is there a preferred epoxy/filler that folks trust?

    Thanks for any help.

    -Walt

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,616

    Default Re: restoring decaying wood

    Quote Originally Posted by waltdeckhouse View Post
    I think I will still have to kill off whatever is eating away and fill in the gaps with something
    Quote Originally Posted by waltdeckhouse View Post
    BTW...are there any fungicides offered at Home Depot that would fit the bill? They seem to sell fungicides....but seemed marketed towards plant\garden treatments.

    Also...is there a preferred epoxy/filler that folks trust?
    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    I would recommend using a borate solution, sold under the name of Timbor, BoraCare, Termite Pruf, and others. The active ingredient you're looking for is Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate. Basically, this is a salt that is relatively non-toxic to humans and animals, but lethal to insects and mold.
    How difficult would it be to nip that beam back another 6"-12"?
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: restoring decaying wood

    I think I prefer to leave the material that is there and just shore up whatever I can. It is a real chore to get under the decking....which is the underside of the 1st floor rough floor. I REALLY do not want to go there unless is it ABSOLUTELY needed.

    I am thinking that if I clear out the soft material, kill off the fungus/mold and fill it in.....that small segment of the beam should be sound. Am I totally off base here?

    -Walt

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,616

    Default Re: restoring decaying wood

    I've heard of using epoxy or similar, injecting it into the soft area, I have never done it myself. I hear ya on not wanting to mess with any more of that beam than you have to, but there's a big difference between trimming out a few more inches as you've already done and trying to replace the whole thing. Fun? Maybe not, but certainly not as terrible.

    Maybe we need to schedule a TOH reunion, everyone comes over and gives you a hand.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •