Help – I’m in a (rotten) jamb!!
Hopefully the play on words brought ya’ running! ;o)
Whatever…I’ve got a 6′ double opening door in a walk-out basement and I just discovered one lower corner where the sill and jamb meet has rotted.
Put a level on the sill and, sure enough, the door wasn’t installed correctly.
(This is a Stanley, btw. Installed 7 years ago)
The rough opening is framed with PT and it’s against concrete walls so I’m not really worried about the rot spreading to any other framing, but I’m wondering should I cut out the rotted wood right out to the brick mold and install a Dutchman (is that still PC?) or does that epoxy wood rot repair work well?
I’ll more than likely replace the door next year but just too much going on right now.
I think I noticed another Len on here…I’m not him 😀
Try the epoxy first.
You haven't stated the extent of the damage, but if it's not too bad, carve out the bad stuff until you find solid wood. I use a rotary rasp in a tool grinder, makes short work of it.
If the excavation is deep, I put in some screws (make sure the heads are below the surface plane of the jamb) to give the epoxy some tooth.
Apply woodhardener (Minwax makes a good product, it takes 2-4 hours to dry.)
Fill in using either the Minwax epoxy, or Bondo. To mimimize the work involved, when the epoxy is on and at the jamb surface plane, (and it might take several coats, depending on the depth) I'll lay on some wax paper and screw down a piece of wood to compress the epoxy into all areas as well as make a fairly smooth surface. Sand, prime, and paint.
This method usually works great on window sills, but that is because the rot typically starts on top and works its way down. On a door jamb, you might find the reverse is true, that it starts low and is working its way up. A lot depends on the damage location and extent, but I might still try the epoxy first. For areas where vertical support is required for the epoxy, I screw wood cut to shape to make a 'dam', lined with wax paper to mold the epoxy into the shape required.
Yes, the bottom of the jamb is completely gone from the inside out to about the brick mold and up, oh, maybe 3".
Bondo sounds fine with me for now but I'll need to back it up with something between the jamb surface and the PT framing.
Or not. Bondo's cheap!
I've also got Stanley's customer service number but with the thing installed off level I'll get nothing there.
Also I noticed that some (if not all) manufacturers offer outward opening doors which place the doors on the outside of the frame.
Makes sense to me as the weather won't be driven -into- an area that then has to drain back outside.
But the PRICES!!! Enh...only money, eh?
If the sill and jamb are soft in one corner, be sure to check all edges of the door in that area too. Commonly the door rots almost as fast as the frame.
And if the door has rot, my suggestion would be to buy a new door unit. Install it right, and you'll die of old age long before it rots.
That's what I tell my customers, and it's the only option as far as I'm concerned.
Unless you're the lead dog, the view just never changes.
Definitely a new door next year.
I'm just into 5 other projects before snow flies and after the temps last night here in NW CT it's closer than we think!
The Minwax/Bondo route will work. The Bondo is a polyester resin.
I've used the epoxies from http://www.abatron.com/ and they work very well, but they are more expensive. Check out their website. http://www.abatron.com/home002.htm
Edited 10/8/2004 3:11 pm ET by Billy