The Rot Doctor


Subject: mast (restoration as flagpole)
Date: Fri, 20 May 2005

My folks had a 30 foot mast in their yard which has been used as a flagpole for the last 45 years. With the recent passing of my mother, we have moved the pole to our property and wish to continue to use it as a flagpole.

However over the years it has developed very long cracks is the wood. It does not appear to be rot, but more like drying cracks. Apparently someone tried to fill some of them at some time in the past, and whatever product they used, now seems to be drying and falling out.

Before we erect the pole again I want to repair it to the best of ability. Can you make suggestions how to and what products I should use. Once the pole is restored, it will be painted white.

Thank you for you help,
Ken W.


Yes, the cracks are undoubtedly due to the wood drying and changing configuration to accommodate weather/environment. It is a common phenomena with uncoated wood.

The ideal way to preserve and restore the mast is to sand it down to smooth, dry wood, treat the just the cracks with our CPES (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer). When the CPES has cured (a couple of days) go back and fill the cracks with our Fill-It Epoxy Filler. After this cures (24-48 hours), sand smooth. Next, wipe-down the entire surface of the mast with a rag dampened in lacquer thinner, and coat the entire mast with the CPES. Finally, within 12 hours of applying the CPES (or as soon as the surface becomes tacky to the touch, which can be within an hour), apply the first coat of paint or primer. Subsequent paint coatings can be applied at your leisure. The curing epoxy in the CPES will "lock-in" the first coat of paint and greatly increase the longevity of the paint.

This type of filling and coating will withstand all weather conditions and temperatures. With the mast painted, there will be no further cracking and the Fill-It in the cracks will not crack or pop out. For paint we would suggest one of the high-gloss exterior paints available at any home store.

Coverage for the CPES is going to be about 175-200 sq ft per gallon, plus whatever the cracks absorb. I would guess that for your mast it would be somewhere near a gallon of CPES. For the Fill-It, it is strictly a volume issue...enough to fill the cracks.

I hope this is helpful. Feel free to come back if you have additional questions. If you wish to order you can do so via phone or our secure on-line order form. We have warehouses on both coasts so shipping time is 3 days or less to any point in the US.