Subject: question about your products
Date: Sun, 2 Nov 1997

I'm recovering a pilothouse roof after tearing off a canvas roof that had been there since 1940. The wood (which is plywood with fir planks around the edge) was very wet. I'm drying it out under a cover now, but am trying to decide what to use to recover it. I'd like to use fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin. Would your products work better than West epoxy? Also, some of the wood in the planking is fibrous. I'd like to just dig the bad stuff out, stabilize it, and fill it with something. Does your git-rot equivalent work for this? My main concern is putting the fiberglass down and having the wood rot underneath. Thanks.

Your caution is well-founded. You do need to get it dry -- a key issue, because no epoxy or polyester will penetrate through water. Our Clear Penetrating Epoxy (CPES) has some alcohol in it for dissipation of water in slightly damp wood, but not wet wood. In these situations we have used everything from hair dryers to 80,000 btu kerosene dryers to work the water out of the wood.

The glass cloth and epoxy resin as a final cover is no doubt the best, and I would proceed with that plan. No matter which epoxy resin you use as a final coating, IT IS ESSENTIAL that you first saturate the wood with our Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer (CPES). The CPES will penetrate into any areas that may have potential rot, and it will seal off all the good wood from moisture and -- hopefully -- rot-producing fungi. I would recommend 2 coats. The 2nd one will take much less CPES than the first. Remember, CPES is a saturant and not a filler, which is what makes it so effective as a wood penetrant and rot deterrent. You need to go back over the CPES with an epoxy filler in those areas where you have dug out the wood.

Git-Rot, by the way, is just an epoxy resin. It will not penetrate significantly and there is no need for you to be using it here.

For filler, I'd recommend that you use our Fill-It Filler. You must use an epoxy to get the molecular bond and ours is better than Marine Tex and others and about the same price.

For what you want to do, there is no reason not to use WEST resin in your final coating system. It will bond with the CPES and WEST is a good product. The only cautionary advice I can offer here concerns the temperature range you are working in -- WEST and others are sensitive and will not cure properly if the temperature is too low. If you are in a warm climate or heated area this is not an issue. The L&L resin we sell will cure down to 28 F. Remember, though, that the application of resin in cold weather is always a hassle, regardless of what temperature it will cure at.

Let me know if you have further questions.