The Rot Doctor


Subject: Leaking Teak Deck
Date: Fri, 08 Oct 2004

Hello, I am trying to seal a teak deck, that has no plywood or glass underneath it. If you look up from inside, you see teak planks. Any ideas?

Thank you


The most common place that laid teak decks leak is through the seams. The caulk separates from the planks, allowing water to wick down between the wood and the caulk. The best way to fix this is to recaulk the seams that are leaking. A tedious messy job. Polysulfide is the common caulk to use. Follow the manufacturer's directions carefully for best results.

Another area that can leak, especially on older, worn-down decks, are the bungs. If the bungs are loose or missing, you need to fix them. On missing bungs, you want to take a screwdriver or knife and scrape the wood clean and get the metal screw shiny. Prime well with CPES, then when this dries glue in a fresh teak bung with some of our All Wood Glue. When this dries you can chisel the bung flush with the deck. For loose bungs it might be possible to seal them with CPES rather than remove and replace. You will have to use your best judgment to decide which to seal and which to replace.

A less common area of leaks would be cracks in the actual planks themselves. CPES can be used to wick into these, and for small cracks should seal with 2 or 3 applications, letting the CPES dry between applications. If you have a larger crack, a little All Wood Glue mixed with some teak sanding residue will make a nice filler after using the CPES.

Whenever you are applying CPES to the deck, you want to be careful of drip-through. You don't want CPES dripping all over the inside of the boat. If the water has been leaking, the CPES will likely do the same. Plastic drop cloth and absorbent material might be prudent under any area that you are working on. Applying CPES a little at a time helps to minimize dripping while still getting enough in to get the job done. You can wipe up any CPES surface residue on the deck with a dry rag while the CPES is still fresh. For any CPES that doesn't get wiped up dry you could clean up carefully with some lacquer thinner. I say carefully because you don't want the solvent to wash the CPES out of any cracks you are trying to seal. After the CPES dries, you can lightly sand the surface of the deck to remove any CPES residue.

Let me know if you have any further questions.