The Rot Doctor


Subject: column repair
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000

Dear Sir,

We have a 23 foot column which has a 2' base diameter. It has rotted at this base due to roof leakage down inside the column and the column has 'dropped' a few inches in height. At the base, the rot has infected about 2' of the inside of the bottom of the column. The outer shell in mostly intact at the base but there is now much hollow space at the base 2'. Our repair contractor is planning to 'jack' up the column to the correct height, band the outer shell to cover hollow areas due to rot, drill holes at the top of the rot area, and inject an epoxy to fill the inner rotted core. We are now looking for an epoxy that will harden to a construction strength. Can you tell me if your resin would be suitable? Due you think our repair approach can be improved upon?
Many thanks.


Your contractor has the right idea. His plan should work just fine.

As for the epoxy, ours are specially formulated for these kinds of repairs. Here's what we'd suggest:

Follow the procedure outlined by the contractor, but before injecting the epoxy resin, saturate the area with our CPES (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer). This is a very thin liquid that penetrates wood, especially deteriorated wood, eliminates the rot fungi and bacteria, and hardens the soft wood. It also greatly reduces the ability of the wood to absorb moisture to levels necessary to support biological activity. This should be painted on the interior and wherever on the interior you can get it. It should be applied to the surfaces of the new wood going into the base-banding as well. It's for future protection. You won't need much (2 quarts would probably be plenty) and it will serve as the ideal base for the epoxy resin.

Our Layup & Laminating Resin is a very slow-setting, construction-grade 1:1 resin. It has a pot life that is well over an hour. What we'd suggest you do here is mix the resin, get some sawdust (coarse is okay -- your contractor should have plenty of that), mix with the resin, and then while it's still pourable put it in the column bases. This will produce an extremely strong column base that will be far stronger than it was originally. The resin/sawdust mix will bond that the molecular level with the CPES-treated wood and give you a strong, rot-free base.

Hard to tell how much of the L&L Resin you would require. It's pretty much a volume issue. CPES must be shipped surface, but the L&L Resin we can ship by air if you ran out and needed more in a hurry.

Hope this has been helpful. Come on back if you have additional questions, or we can be of further help.