Subject: dry rotting sill plate
Date: Mon, 11 May 1998
I am sure that your products can help us, but I want to make sure what to do.
We have a sill plate that I believe is redwood and it’s rotting. There are cantilevered floor joists from the upper floor stretching across it and then outside to make a deck. Where the joists run across the sill, each point has some rot (more on some, but all have a little.
I am guessing that the sill is a standard 2x6, and the rot seems to go at least a couple inches in if not more (hard to tell).
I had thought about actually holding the joists up with jacks and then replacing the sill plate, but wonder if stopping the rot and filling it would be enough. After stopping the rot, is there a filler strong enough to take the weight of the house (ie. replace damaged sections of the sill)? Please recommend the best stuff to kill the rot, and then fill the gaps.
Also, the house (joists) seem to have “squished” the rotted sill downwards about 1/8–1/4″ in a few of the joists. Would it still be advisable to jack up the house/joists and THEN treat and fill?
If we bring in outside help, what type of professional should we call? Or is this something that we could handle.
The products we sell applied to dry rotted or deteriorated wood will restrict the rot and support almost anything. They are all composed of premium epoxies, and epoxy and wood results in a very strong structure. These products are used by the State of California and the US military for wood restoration and repair.
That said, what you do will depend of what you are seeing. The traditional repair — and the one any engineer or architect is going to recommend — jacking everything up and tearing away all rotted sections and replacing them or sistering them with new timber. Doable, certainly, but expensive.
The Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer (CPES) flowed onto and injected into bad wood will wick itself around the deteriorated wood, the solvents evaporate away, and the epoxy hardens inside the bad wood, solidifying it. It will still remain “squished”, but will be hard. Following the CPES, you follow with our Layup & Laminating Resin (a 1:1 very slow curing resin) into holes and vacancies. It bonds with the CPES and gets quite hard. You can use it as a base and mix in wood flour or sawdust as a paste filler, or, alternately, you can use our Fill-It Epoxy Putty. Both will get quite hard.
So, I would suggest that you look at the repair possibilities with the idea that you would be using premium epoxies that are 1) very thin (like diesel fuel), 2) thicker (like syrup), and 3) thick (like bread dough). Through drilling and filling you can get these into and onto the bad wood, and the epoxies are harder than the wood. You might even wedge-up under the “squished” portion and be able to push in the CPES followed by a putty. If any of this makes sense to you, as the handyman-in-charge, then it’s a viable alternative. If in looking at it and thinking about it you find it intimidating, then you’d probably be better advised to seek outside help and replace the wood.
Come back if you have more questions. Also, we are always happy to look at pictures, on-line or prints, or videos, of the damaged area and make suggestions.