We have some "architectual" wooden gutters, a portion of which is
decaying/rotting from the inside.
Since the decaying run is only about 6 feet long and since replacing
it would be very expensive, I am looking to repair it.
I am considering the following but am very open to feedback and/or new
or better ideas.
1. Wash out the accumulated dirt and decayed leaves from the gutter
[done]. Let dry.
2. Scrape away the worst of the rotted wood (I hope that I don't have
to be too aggressive here)
3. Use RotFix (a low viscosity epoxy) to solidfy the remaining wood
including the semi-rotted areas that I don't remove [supposedly
RotFix is pretty tolerant here]
4. Use SculptWood (a wood like epoxy that you shape like putty) to
fill major gouges and holes
5. Coat the entire inside gutter with System3 epoxy
- Not sure what faring I should use if any
- Wondering also whether I should consider embedding a
fiberglass-like layer in the epoxy (if so, what type should I
6. Seal any remaining joints with standard gutter caulk
I would think that an approach like the above would make the gutters
last at least another 100 years while doing nothing to disrupt the
Missing step is fix the underlying cause of why this particular section
is failing--generally there's a drainage or other problem that
instigated the failure that needs attention else the other repair is
likely to not last.
Don't know that particular brand/product name, but the wood restoration
epoxies I've used recommend not removing anything but absolutely loose
material. Keep as much of the original as possible and inject the
stabilizing product either via drilling small holes or use a syringe to
do so. Only use the solid repair material to replace actual missing
material. Never used fiberglass in these kinds of repairs; when they
became available did use the microballoons on occasion for bulking up
the solid filler to be slightly more economical.
In general, once had a finish surface returned, did not coat it other
than painting as the original surfaces were; for gutters if there is not
another problem such as slope so water is standing, it should not be
susceptible to recurrence.
I've done quite a lot of ante-bellum restoration work in the Lynchburg,
VA, area years ago on that basis that has lasted nearly 30 years so far...
Rot is killed with bleach easily, the rot is a living plant or
organism that eats wood under the right conditions, so kill it first.
There are liqued products used on boats where you drill holes in
softer wood and pour in a thin liqued to stabilise it, Minwax has or
had a version I used once. Try to change what is causing the rot,
maybe pitch is wrong. Coating with epoxy after you fixed a few issues
is a good idea
Thanks for the bleach suggestion.
Cause I think is the combination of:
1. Downspout was clogged at some point [fixed]
2. Leaves and dirt had accumulated in the gutter (some plants even
started to grow) [fixed]
3. Old age (100+ years) with who knows what history of care
Are the rest of the gutters wood also? If so, the advise I got from a redwood
gutter supplier was to coat them every year or two with "shingle oil".
This is a non-drying oil which prevents water penetration while still allowing
the wood to breath. Do not coat the wood with any kind of sealing layer, as that
will increase the rot problem. The epoxy treated area would be an exception, I
I had to buy a 5 gallon bucket of the oil, but it will last me my life.
I use an appropriate stiff brush to loosen the crud, blow it out with my air
compressor, then brush the oil on.
Replacing the section shouldn't be that hard of a job if you can find the
gutter. I did also learn some tricks about joints in wood gutters if that would
be of use.
Unfortunately, most of the original gutters on other parts of the
house have been replaced with vanilla white aluminum. I hope one day
to replace them either with wood or copper (I need to do more research
into what is most consistent with the original house
There are only a few remaining stretches of wood over the
porches. About 8-10 feet here where the rot is maybe another 15 feet
on another porch. My guess is that it would be difficult to finding an
existing matching stock wooden gutter given the age and that taking
off the old gutter is only opening myself up to creating/finding and
having to repair more problems.
The home itself is "historic" including an original part from the late
18th century and the main Italianate Mansard portion from the 1870's
-- I am really trying to be good in preserving the style and materials
even when the newer stuff is "cheaper" or "lower maintenance".
you might kill remaining rot with anti freeze after removing the worst
of the rot.
Then solvent thinned epoxy for sealing - then either thickened epoxy
with perhaps chunks of wood for filling in chipped out areas etc., then
a FLEXIBLE epoxy paint (marine epoxies are brittle and will not handing
the expansion and contractions of the wood); Then optionally a coat of
paint as epoxies will slowly breakdown over time.
paul oman/progressive epoxy polymers
When the wood gutters on the old library went beyound repair a local
handy man made new ones. It really wasnt very difficult to do but
require a table saw. The part that I thought would be the most
difficult was cuttiing the trough but that was actually very easy and
the guy let me do it(I was about 15 at the time). We feed the wood
diagonal across the blade of the table saw starting with the blade
barely above the surface of the table and raising it a little on each
pass. Im 56 now and the old library has been replaced but until about
10 years ago I really enjoyed riding by and seeing those gutters I
helped build. Every kid should have a chance to do something good that
they can remember for the rest of their life.
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