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How do you fix a rotted door

Undoubtedly, wooden doors are the most stylish and exquisite among all other door materials. They can also be used with different knobs and handles and fit in various design ideas. However, as time passes, wooden doors tend to change as well, revealing problems like scaly paint or rotting. If you notice the first signs of it, you can take measures to avoid complete door damage.

In the text below, we collected the most important information about rotted doors. The questions like what causes mold, how to determine whether the doors need to be replaced or repaired, how to repair them and how to prevent the door from rotting are among them. We welcome you to read the article if the topic is relevant to you.

What causes door rot

Dark spots and the spongy surface of timber are the clear signs of a door rot. If you poke it with a sharp object like a knife or screwdriver and the timber doesn't offer resistance, obviously, this area is struck by parasites. What are they? Usually, the culprits of door rot are fungi ‒ microscopic organisms that eat wood fibers. They emerge due to the high humidity level and its abnormal change variations. Their lives fully depend on moisture, so if the timber is soaked through, the fungi spread rapidly. As a rule, those bacteria affect mostly external doors due to the weather conditions, which are usually changeable outside.

How to know if a rotten door needs to be repaired or replaced

Usually, the problem of rotting affects the old doors, as obviously, things may wear out over time. Alongside the rotten areas over the door leaf, you may often find rust on the ancient locks. However, when the old lock can be easily replaced, a logical question arises: "Can we solve the problem of rotten doors the same way?”
Sometimes people feel frustrated when they think about replacing the entire door sheet when the damage is not severe. At the same time, other people may not even think about the slightest repair of rotten door areas when their doors are slowly falling apart. How to define whether your rotted door needs to be repaired or completely replaced?
rooting door frame
First, it's important to determine how badly the door is rotted. What parts are affected, and which door area is covered with mold? If the damages are serious, consider a door replacement. If you notice that only several sectors are affected, you can fix it.
rooting door frame

How to repair a rotted door

If you spotted a trace of rot on your doors, it's time to do something about that. Below, we prepared a list of what to do with a rotted door:
  1. Take the door off the hinges. It's recommended to remove the door from its entrance, as this way, it's easier to work with it. However, if the damage is not severe or you can't leave your entrance open, you may work with it when it stays on the hinges.
  2. Remove the rotten wood. Just take something sharp like a screwdriver or a putty knife and clear the affected areas from rotten wood. You may also use a drill with a conical nozzle, similar to how the dentist's drill the holes to put a seal.
  3. Drill the holes around the damaged wood area. It's advisable to do this as the bacteria which causes rotting leaves the wood fibers around the affected area weak and may spread further. If your door has deep holes due to the rotten wood, you can take pieces of adhesive tape and stuff them inside the holes to fill up the cavity so that you could have something your hardener could stick with. Don't worry if it looks really cheap and funny, but once you get a filler in there and it will pack in, everything will look really smooth. Instead of tape, you may use a spray-expanding foam if you have more time.
  4. Fill the holes with polyester wood filler and epoxy. First, mix the hardener with epoxy resin, but use different sticks for this purpose so that the first material wouldn't get inside the second can. Take the third stick to mix them until it turns into a homogeneous mass. It has to be done as fast as you can, as the material starts to harden in 2 minutes. Apply the mixture to the holes, filling them. Add as many layers as possible, letting the previous ones dry a bit. Get a putty knife and smooth that out, ensuring no craters are left.
  5. Sand the surface. This step is a perfect finish once you've filled the holes, leaving them dry overnight. Take a sander and grind the surface down flat. Then use the primer to cover the sanded area and let it dry. Get paint that matches the door color and apply it in two layers.
Now, you have a perfectly repaired door with no signs of rot and saved up money. However, if you see the door is severely affected by fungus and needs a replacement, feel free to use house locksmith services for that purpose.

How to prevent door rot

The best decision is always to prevent problems instead of coping with them later. So, to avoid door rotting, the first thing to do is a regular door examination. Make a point to check your doors once a year to see whether they're free of any cracks or dark spots. If you noticed at least one, it's a sign that your premise may have an increased humidity level, so consider solving this problem. Concerning doors, it's recommended to sand down the affected area and refinish it to stop spreading bacteria all over the door sheet and jambs. You may also want to prime them and paint them one more time to make them look good. You can additionally cover the neighboring surfaces with a seal to avoid the fungi spreading to them.
dry rotted wood door
dry rotted wood door

Summing up

As you can see, in most cases, you don't need to spend a lot of money on a new door purchase and installation, as even the through holes can be repaired. However, remember that sometimes it's better to replace a door if it's badly affected by fungi, as when you keep living alongside them, it may be dangerous for your health. All in all, it's up to you to make a decision. Sure Lock & Key will be glad to help whenever you need assistance.

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