The Rot Doctor


Subject: (Victorian Porch Rot)
Date: Wed, 02 Jun 1999

Dear Dr. Rot,
I have an old Victorian home (110 years). The front porch posts are rotting pretty badly. They are not rotting at the ground level, but about twelve inches up where the floor of the porch meets the post. I saw you address hollow columns in your page, but wasn't sure the info there was quite applicable. I need some thing that will stop the rot, and then a product to fill the back out to their original square shape. I need a product that can be sanded smooth and square, so I can replace the 1 x 2 trim around the bottoms where they meet the porch floor after I am finished. Please advise!

Geof D.


The info related to hollow columns is generally applicable. What you have is water getting in the posts at the post/floor juncture. Not uncommon. In your case, what you will need to do after the posts are reasonably dry, is pull away all really loose wood, remove any paint or finish near the damaged areas, treat the rotted areas liberally with CPES (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer) by brush and, if the rot is deep inside the posts, injection through downward sloping drilled holes, and then come back with our Fill-It Epoxy Filler and fill all vacancies. The Epoxy Filler once hard (24-36 hours) can be drilled, sanded, and painted without problem. It bonds at the molecular level with the CPES treated wood to give you a final very strong, rot-resistant structure.

The key to this kind of repair is being sure to access the rotted areas thoroughly with the CPES. The CPES not only returns strength and substance to the rotted wood, but makes the wood highly resistant to deterioration caused by fungi or bacteria. Ideally, you should apply the CPES for 5-7 inches above/below where the rot ends, and certainly very liberally to junction areas of the posts and the floor. The wood should be allowed to absorb all it will take, and then left to cure for about a week. Then you can come back with the Epoxy Filler. The filler is a soft white putty-like material that will hang in vertical areas, although if the area being filled is large it should be applied in two or three applications.

How much of the material you will need depends on how many posts you have, their size, and how bad the rot is. If you give me that kind of info I can make a good estimate for the CPES. As for the filler, it is strictly a volume issue -- whatever it takes to fill the holes you see.

All our products are premium epoxies and repairs are permanent. There will be no more rot after treatment.

Come back if you have further questions. We'll do our best to give you good answers.