The Rot Doctor


Subject: HELP!! (termite damage)
Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2003

Dear Rot Doctor,

Your web site is quite impressive and informative. I'm very interested in learning more and getting some specific advice before I order the products. The supporting beam in my basement toward the front side is damaged by termites. I've got the company to do the chemical treatment to prevent any further damage, but I'm not sure what to do about the already damaged beam. It will cost about $3,000 to replace it. The cross-section of the beam is 4"x 4", and the total span of termite damaged area is about 12 feet. The damage above the window is the most severe area with a big, open cavity (see images). Area next to the opening sounded hollow when tapped, and has a few small holes. There is another area with open cavity and a lot of dust-like powder. The rest of the beam only has patches of discoloration with hollow-sounding pockets.

Beam Rot 1

Beam Rot 2

My questions:

1. Is this job too big for your epoxy?

No. Our epoxies are commonly used for these kinds of structural repairs.

2. What products should I get?

I would suggest one of our 2-gallon units of CPES, one of our 2-gallon units of Layup & Laminating Resin, and one of our 5# bags of sawdust.

3. How much of each product do I need?

See above. The whole beam should be treated with the CPES, and CPES should be allowed to run freely through the termite tunnels, as well as over the entire accessible exterior of the beam. It may take the two gallons, but only mix as much of the CPES as you think you will use at one time. If there is any CPES remaining and it is kept unmixed in the cans with the lids screwed on, the shelf life is over 10 years.

It's difficult to predict exactly how much of the L&L Resin you will need because it will depend on how extensive the interior tunnel network is. But I do believe that the 2-gallon unit should be sufficient.

4. In terms of technical difficulty on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being all thumbs, 10 being professional) how would you rate this job? (I think I'm somewhat handy)

How about a "5"?

5. How do I infiltrate the CPES at the open cavity? Should I use duct tape to patch it up, then drill a hole above it and inject the CPES? Or just squirt the CPES over it?

I would inject the CPES into all the holes and brush it freely over the exterior of the beam. You will also be drilling downward sloping access holes near the top edge of the beam (or the top surface if you can get to it), and CPES should be flooded into these holes. CPES will run out, so be prepared to have it drip down around the beam. We remind you that CPES produces powerful organic solvent fumes when first applied, so we recommend that during the CPES application you wear a respirator mask capable of filtering organic solvent fumes. We sell one, or you can obtain one at your home store.

6. Do I have to clean up all the dust-like wood power before I use CPES?


Thanks much.
Alfie T.


Thanks for the pictures...very helpful.

Here is the procedure you should use:

1. Drill access holes and treat all of the wood generously with the CPES, as noted above.

2. Allow at least a week to pass.

3. Come back and cover as much of the exterior of the beam as possible with kitchen wrap (Saran Wrap type stuff). This can be applied to a piece of cardboard and then put against the facing as a dam.

4. Inject (using something like a turkey baster) pure Layup & Laminating Resin into the access holes. If you see it starting to leak out, dam the leaking area. You want to allow the L&L Resin to work its way through the insect tunnels.

5. In 24 hours you can come back and remove all the blocking material.

6. Inspect all the holes. Those that are still open can be pumped with a soft pumpable mix of our Layup & Laminating Resin and wood flour. We sell empty standard 10 oz cartridges/plungers that can make this easier. After pumping the holes can be closed with a piece of 2" clear shipping tape to hold in the mix. This tape can be peeled off after 24 hours.

7. Finally, come back yet again (in 24 hours or longer) and fill remaining all holes, vacancies, cavities with a stiff mix you make from our Layup & Laminating Resin and sawdust.

That's it. You have made a structural repair, stronger then the original wood and rot-proof indefinitely.

Here is our website link that may give you some help:

And feel free to come back if you have additional questions.