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Repairing rotten wood on outdoor play structure

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Jun 05, 2013, 09:46 AM
Repairing rotten wood on outdoor play structure
I have a hand-me-down play structure that has some wood rot issues. The bottom 6 inches or so of the main support beams are showing signs of rot. I have read about products (epoxy) that claim they repair this. Has anyone used these products? Any other suggestions for the safest and most cost effective way to fix the problem and prevent it from recurring?
Thanks for your help!
Jun 05, 2013, 04:29 PM
best fix is to support the play system, remove the rotting lumber, and use it as a template to cut and drill replacement pieces of cedar.

This Old House has used epoxy paste to repair foundation sections. the trick is to get ALL of the rot out first. there has to be some mechanical rough-up to provide "tooth" for the epoxy to have mechanical bond to the wood so it won't get knocked off. which means gouge something substantial in there. you would obviously have to mold the material, I'd suspect using wax paper to line the mold.

I'd replace the wood.

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Jun 05, 2013, 04:51 PM
funny that this question is asked now as I just repaired my outside door frame that had some rot. This is the second time this occurred, previously on the opposite side. What I did both times is , I dug out as much of the rotted wood as possible, dried the remaining wood with a heat gun and applied a product called wood hardener, made by minwax, After following its instructions , I built up the area with " bondo " filed and sanded the repair to match the original dimensions, primed, painted and caulked
The older repair has lasted for many years, and I expect the new repair to last as long.
In your case, considering that this is a main support, I would cut out the rotten part , make a replacement of pressure treated wood glue the new piece in and sister gussets on either side of the repair, again using P.T. wood
Jun 06, 2013, 06:40 AM
Epoxy repair of rotted wood is a cosmetic fix, not a structural one. So when you say "main support beams" then epoxy fill is not really an option. If it's minor surface rot then no problem, go ahead and fill it. However if enough of the beam is destroyed then no amount of epoxy will bring it's strength back. In this case, you'll need to either replace the beam with a new one or add additional structural material alongside.