Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ted's Exterior Wood - Repair vs. Replace

June has just about been a wash for exterior work. Vacation time and bad weather means not much has been done. But today was a good day.

During my weekend crusades to restore my home exterior (previously clad in vinyl) I’ve become quite talented in one respect - my ability to make nasty looking wood look decent again.

Insulation holes, split clapboards and rotted wood don’t stand a chance. Very rarely do I replace wood. The primary reason for my conservation is that my carpentry skills suck. I’ll avoid getting out the saw at all costs. Besides, the wood that’s there, old growth lumber, is far superior than anything I could buy and replace it with. So a clapboard must be really bad before I’ll resort to the saw and hammer or calling a real carpenter to do the job.

Here are two examples of patch work. Both were the result of blown in insulation and the resulting damage. The first example is a series of bad splits and two holes and probably a good candidate for replacement. But the splits were stable (not growing) and the holes could be filled.

I’m pleased with the results after my first coat of primer. Holes be there. Holes be gone.
From the “how not to do stuff” department – do not use car body filler on wood. It may be quick and easy but it won’t last. Wood moves. Body filler doesn’t. It cracks. Paint doesn’t stick to it well either. I’ve had to redo a couple of spots that have already failed. Some lessons get taught best when you have to go back and do it again. I do so love redoing work.

I use wood consolidant and epoxy for repairs. I’ll talk more about the products I use soon.

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