Abatron’s products are often put to use to restore historic or treasured structures. At other times, using restoration products to repair rather than replace just makes good financial sense. It’s remarkable how much money you can save with the right products and a little know-how. Marco Caporaso offers a salient example of this in the household repair article below:
Recently, I repaired a wooden garage door that had completely rotted at the bottom due to Florida’s constant moisture and warm salt air. The door has no historic value or special significance. It has pine framing and fiberboard panels commonly installed 30-35 years ago. The decision to repair the door rather than replace it was based solely on economics: replacement cost – $1,000 – $1,500 vs. $50 in materials and a few hours of my time.
In one spot, the section was split; a strip of plywood had been used to reinforce it from the back and prevent it from buckling and falling apart. In addition, the wood frame joint at the bottom corner of the section failed. Previous attempts to repair this had been made with more plywood pieces screwed in from the back … yet another band-aid solution. It was only a matter of time until the fixes completely failed, and the whole door crashed down. The other three sections of the door were stable.
Here are the supplies I used for this repair:
1) First, I sanded off all the old paint in the affected areas. I also removed old/failed filler and sealant with more sanding and a painter’s tool.
2) Next, loose debris was cleared out with a wire brush. * Note: the soft, decayed wood that was still attached to the door was left in place.
3) I drilled out 3/32” holes at a 45° downward angle in the soft areas.
4) To add temporary rigidity and keep these areas straight and flush during the repair, I screwed additional 1×2 inch reinforcement on the backside of where the split in the wood and the failed joint were.
5) I routed out a horizontal area over where the wood had split large enough to insert 2 dowel rods. These were flush with each other, with an extra half inch all around. I also routed a vertical area for a single dowel rod where the wood joint failed. The dowel rods bridge the gaps, add structural strength to the wood, and help to prevent future failure.
6) Equal parts of LiquidWood A and B, about 12 oz. total, were mixed together. An applicator bottle was used to squeeze LiquidWood into the drilled holes, and an acid bush was used to coat and saturate the affected and surrounding areas, including the fiberboard. This process strengthened the wood and primed it for WoodEpox. LiquidWood was used to saturate the dowel rods.
7) While the saturated wood was still wet with LiquidWood, I mixed up WoodEpox and began filling the wood back out to restore its shape. The wet LiquidWood provided a perfectly compatible tacky surface for the WoodEpox to bond with, making the bond stronger and more uniform.
8) I partially filled the routed areas with WoodEpox. I then took the LiquidWood saturated dowels and pushed them into the partially WoodEpox-filled cavities. Excess WoodEpox flowed out around the dowels as they were pressed deeper into the cavities. With the dowels set, I sealed off the rest of cavities with WoodEpox.
9) I dipped my putty knife into the remaining LiquidWood, and used it to feather out the WoodEpox to make it flush and smooth with the substrate. This reduced the need for sanding later.
10) After letting the substrate harden overnight, I sanded everything smooth, and removed the reinforcing 1×2’s.
11) Finally, the door was repainted white.
This whole process was an easy, permanent structural repair that took only a few hours, saved a lot of money, and is sustainable as it saves this door from the landfill.