Jamb just prior to wood rot

Preventing wood rot on door jambs and deck posts

On this episode, Handyguy Paul brings two topics to the podcast pertaining to preventing wood rot and to wood and ground contact.

Preventing Wood Rot on Door Jambs

Paul asks Handyguy Brian about the best way to deal with rotting door jambs and in particular the garage door jambs.  Brian discusses this problem in general as it relates to any exterior door. Exterior jams should be primed and painted on their end grain before installing to help prevent the absorption of moisture. The wood end grain acts as straws, soaking up moisture  over time. Once rot sets in, the best repair is normally a replacement of the entire jam. Paul talks about the complications of having the garage door track structurally attached to the jam.

Jamb just prior to wood rot
This door jamb is in the beginning stages of wood rot. The paint is peeling but the wood is still stable. To repair this and prevent damage to the jamb, scrape all loose paint, sand smooth, caulk, prime and paint.

Preventing Wood Rot on Deck Posts

In the second half of this episode, the Handyguys discuss the pros and cons of having deck support posts in the ground verses on top of concrete piers. Decks builders often insert deck posts into the ground which can add stability but may lead to excessive rot over time. Listen to the podcast for more details.
Deck Post on Concrete Footer
This deck post is on a concrete footer using a post base to prevent the post from touching the concrete. The pressure treated post is rated for ground contact and the cut end was treated with preservative during installation.
Post in ground may rot
This post was set in the ground, it is unknown if the cut end was treated, it is unknown if the pressure treatment is rated for ground contact. This pressure treated post is showing signs of deterioration after 6 years.

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8 thoughts on “Preventing wood rot on door jambs and deck posts

  1. I’ve been a regular visitor of your blog and every time I visit I learn something new and informative to help me around in my house. Thank you Handy guys.

  2. I just learnt of your blog and podcast, and it’s really useful.

    It does come in handy!


  3. Subterranean termites and dry rot (kind of wood rot) are the two extremely harmful forces which can destroy even a single item of your home. They both are often misconceived by majority of the people. However, they both look similar but actually they are comparatively different from each other to large an extent. There are certain distinctions which you should know to treat them separately and potentially.

  4. Next dig out wood that is rotted enough to be weak. Add more glycol to wet the exposed wood thoroughly. Then add the 25% borate solution of the recipe below so long as it will soak in in no more than 2-3 hours. Then fill in the void with epoxy putty and/or a piece of sound treated wood as required. The reasons I use borates at all are: 1) it is a belt-and-suspenders approach to a virulent attack, and 2) over a long period glycol will evaporate from the wood; especially, in areas exposed directly to the sun and the high temperatures that result.

  5. I see a lot of this in the Wilmington area, especially in older homes. I think that these are the most known culprits.
    People definitely need to take a closer look at their decks and door jams when they’re buying their home, especially if it’s an older home.

  6. We use an elastic repair compound to repair rotten timber here in the UK, not sure if you have a similar repair system in the US? It’s made by a company called RepairCare and allows you to basically reconstruct whole sections of rotten timber without the need to replace, it’s a permanent solution and can save a small fortune long term.

  7. If you are experiencing a significant amount of problems with wooden frames, the foundation may also be the culprit. When the foundation settles badly, it can place a lot of stress on door and window frames. This stress will accelerate wood damage, and may make wood more susceptible to rot and other problems.

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