The Rot Doctor


Subject: Request for Recommendation (peeling paint)
Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2003

We have a 100+ year old brick house, and we are having a problem with the exterior wood around the windows. Shortly after we moved in during the summer of 1997, we had the wood scraped, primed and painted. It had probably been over 30 years since any maintenance had been done. It already looks terrible - the paint it flaking off all the way back to the bare wood in big sections. The wood itself appears to be suffering from dry rot.

Can you offer any recommendation for addressing this situation.

Thank you,

Pam F.


The bad news is that you are going to need to strip the wood again. The good news is that it should be the last time it needs to be done. Paint peels mainly from three causes. One, the wood wasn't primed properly, two, moisture is getting into the wood behind the paint, or three, the wood itself is not strong enough to hold to paint. In other words, because of the dry rot, the wood is breaking away beneath where the paint is bonded to it. In many cases, the causes might be a combination of these.

Stripped and treated thoroughly with CPES, the wood will not suffer from any of these three problems. The CPES soaks into the wood fibers and seals them from ever absorbing water in the future. It re-strengthens dry rotted wood. And it is the best primer available for any type of top coat paint, whether it's latex, enamel, etc. Once you use the CPES, the only thing that should damage the exterior wood is ultraviolet light. UV breaks any paint down eventually, which means that you will have to repaint sooner or later. But UV damages from the surface down, causing chalky paint. The underlying paint and CPES will still be attached to the wood, and it will just be a matter of removing the chalky surface and reapplying a coat or two of paint.

Our Fill-It epoxy filler would probably also be quite useful. It is used for filling in any cracks or dips in the wood. Once applied to the CPES treated wood, it should never come out. These materials are the best that can be produced and have an extremely strong bond.

Also, the caulks that we sell are the same kind that are used to caulk the seams on wood boats to keep them from sinking. They are very strong bonding even in high moisture environments, and have a 10-20 year life span, unlike the common household caulks found in paint stores. They would be quite useful in finishing your job properly.

Please let me know if you have further questions.