How To Repair Dry Rot By Yourself
How Does Dry Rot Appear?
Dry rot occurs when wood is in contact with condensation or moisture for a significant period of time.
Usually this happens in poorly ventilated areas, where there is a possibility of faulty or leaky
plumbing or wet weather conditions. This creates an environment ideal for fungus to grow and
spread on wooden planks. Decomposition of wooden surfaces is not something that happens
overnight, it’s very gradual. It can take a longer or shorter periods of time depending of the type of
fungus that has affected the wood.
If dry rot damage is severe, you might want to replace the affected wood members. Replacing and
repairing damaged wood members can be expensive. However, in some cases it’s absolutely
necessary. If dry rot damage is not extensive, repairing the damaged areas will also work. If you are
in doubt and not sure how to approach dry rot repairs on your home, feel free to call Rot Repair at
(916) 833-1379. Our team would be happy to assess the amount of damage and advise on whether
the damage can be repaired or not.
Wood decay begins with moisture and fungus growth. Fungus can spread fast and affect large areas
of wood, creating dry rot.
As a part of repairs of dry rot damage, you may want to cut out and remove rotted areas of wood.
However, please be careful when doing it yourself. If you miss an affected area, fungus can grow
and affect large areas of wood very quickly creating more dry rot and potentially affecting the areas
that you have already repaired.
In this post we will talk in more detail about how you can repair dry rot damage yourself.
Repairing Dry Rot by Yourself
In this post we will talk about treating dry rot with fungicide and wood fillers.
Just a reminder: these suggestions on how to repair dry rot only work for minimal cosmetic repairs. If
you are worried that the house structure or foundation might be affected, please call Rot Repair and
we will assess the damage and will advise you on the next steps.
In this article, we’ll take three main steps to repair dry rot. We will walk you through how to use
fungicide and wood filler to repair the damaged areas.
First Step: Inspect and clean up the area to get it ready for repairs.
At first you will need to thoroughly inspect the areas affected by dry rot. If the wood feels soft it
means that it’s been damaged by dry rot.
To prepare the wood for treatment, begin by removing dry rot and wood pieces by using a chisel or
reciprocating tool. Since paint can contain lead, remove it carefully.
Ensure that all dry rot is removed and picked out. Apply a fungicide at the affected areas, you can
purchase these materials at a local hardware store. It is good to remember that this repair method is
only useful for small dry rot areas.
After applying a fungicide, allow drying time for the materials to soak into the wood and to dry before
the filling process begins. You may cover the areas of repair temporarily to prevent outside moisture
such as sprinklers and or rain.
Second Step: Applying filler to all areas affected by dry rot.
In this step we will mix and apply the wood filler to cover hollow spaces in the wood. To create a firm
bond and to make sure all hollow spaces in the wood are filled, it is necessary to press the filling
firmly into the areas.
It’s better to mix wood fillers in a cool area, since hot temperatures will speed up its hardening. Apply
the wood filler with a putty knife or similar tool and ensure that the entire void is filled.
It’s not necessary to make a perfect shape when filling in cavities. If you see you need to add more
filler mixture, add more as necessary. Spread and pat the filling evenly as needed. When it’s warm
outside the mixture will become firm within a few hours.
Third Step: Final touches
In this step we will be smoothing down the surface that has been treated with the filling. To test if the
mixture has dried use the tip of your fingernail to see if it’s hard enough. If it is, smooth it with a
coarse file. Smoothing with a coarse file will allow you to remove large quantities of excessive
filling before you begin finalizing the shape. You can also remove portions of the filler with a
If by accident you remove a lot more of the hardened mixture than expected, you can always
add another layer, wait till it dries and smooth it with a file again. To cover all hollow areas and
create a perfect shape, use the shape of the rest of the wood as an example.
Once you’ve perfected the shape, smooth it down with sandpaper. While sanding, always wear a
protective dust mask and appropriate eye protection. To finish off, vacuum excessive dust and apply
primer on top of the hardened and shaped mixture. Apply polyurethane caulk to seal joints between
the hardened filling and the wood planks prior to applying the final layer.
Use a couple of layers of high quality acrylic paint to complete the project. Examine the area again
and if needed add caulk and paint again. A good repair job will last for a long time.
We hope that you’ll find these steps very helpful, and they will help you to repair dry rot damage on
It is not advised to leave dry rot untreated as fungus can easily spread to the rest of the wood, and
may affect the structural integrity of your home.
Rot Repair is a branch of Good Life Construction and was established in 2008. We have been
providing excellent repair services ever since. We pride ourselves in the quality of our work and
customer service and enjoy creating lifelong relationships with our clients.
If you are in doubt and not sure if you can repair dry rot damage by yourself, call Rot Repair at (916)
833-1379 and we will gladly help you to estimate the damage and advise you on the next steps.