If you have a beautifully painted or stained wooden garage door that looks as though it is rotten in one area, then you may consider having the entire door replaced. This is not always necessary though, and you can sometimes make repairs, even if the wood is rotten. Keep reading to find out how you can tell that the damaged part of the wood is actually degraded and also how you can make a repair.
How To Determine If The Wood Is Rotten
There are two types of rot that commonly affect wood that is exposed to the elements; dry rot and wet rot. If you are inspecting your wooden garage door, then you should look for both of these types of rot. Dry rot is the most common type of rot you may see across a piece of wood that is not exposed to a great deal of moisture. While moisture must be present to produce the rot, the damage may appear when something basic happens like rain water dropping into a crack in the wood door. The small amount of moisture can encourage the growth of a fungus that eats away at the wood. If dry rot has developed, then you may notice white fibers or flakes in or around the damage. If you cannot see inside the damaged area well, then use a utility knife to scrape the surface so you can see inside a bit better.
Wet rot typically appears when wood is directly exposed to moisture for an extended period of time. The rot occurs when wood naturally breaks down and degrades. This type of problem is most likely if you also see puddles of water sitting near the garage door or if rain or snow comes into constant contact with the door. Any area that is affected by wet wood rot will be spongy, even if it is covered with a layer of stain or paint. Use your hands or a utility knife to poke at the damaged area. If it feels soft, spongy, or gives easily when pressed, then it is likely wet rot.
How To Fix A Rotten Garage Door
A garage door that has been affected by rotten wood can typically be repaired with a wood hardener, a wood filler, and a new coat of paint. Before you can use a wood hardener, you will need to remove all of the crumbing and loose wood from the door. Use a putty knife or utility knife to scrape loose wood away. You will be left with a hole surrounded by rotten wood that is both soft and firm. This wood will be reinforced by the hardener so the rot no longer spreads.
Wood hardeners are resin products that contain a mixture of solvents. The ingredients allow the liquid solution to seep into the wood and harden. The rotten wood hardens along with the resin. While the hardener can be used with wood in all states of decomposition, it is best to release crumbling wood before using the product. This helps to create a smooth and strong surface that your wood filler can adhere to. Mix and spread the wood hardener according to the instructions and allow it to dry completely.
Purchase either an epoxy or polyester filler for wood repairs and use the filler in the opening afterwards. Use your putty knife to smooth out the filler when adding it, making sure the filler is elevated a small amount. This will allow you to sand the area smooth when you are done. Use a sanding block to do the smoothing instead of a piece of sandpaper. This will help you to place even pressure on the filler to smooth it out evenly. You can apply paint or stain to the area when you are done.
If you feel you cannot do this by yourself, contact a residential garage door repair company, such as Crawford Door Company.