How to Repair Dry Rot at the End of Beams

Written by angela baird
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How to Repair Dry Rot at the End of Beams
The appearance of the end of a healthy wooden beam. (beam image by jamalula from

Dry rot is a fungus that, contrary to its name, requires a dark, damp place to thrive. Soft woods and a lack of ventilation encourage this ravenous fungus. Appearing as a white-rimmed, rust-red, fleshy body, it ejects spores onto surrounding wood as a rusty dust in order to spread. It may also appear as a white cotton mass, or a mass of tubular construction, with hues of yellow or lavender. These appearances denote different stages of the fungus. Repairing dry rot is a simple procedure if caught early on; however, advanced rot may require complete reconstruction of the area.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Chisel
  • Heater or blower
  • Antiseptic solution
  • Wood filler (epoxy)
  • Trowel
  • Sander or sanding block
  • Coarse sandpaper
  • Paint

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  1. 1

    Expose the end of the affected beam. If it is embedded in a wall, tear out the wall surrounding the rotted beam.

  2. 2

    Use a chisel to remove the crumbly parts of the wood, which is anything that falls away easily.

  3. 3

    Dry the affected area completely. If you live in an arid environment, you may be able to expose the end of the beam and let it dry naturally over a few days, or use a heater or blower to dry it artificially.

  4. 4

    Treat the rot with an antiseptic solution such as carbolineum avenaiius or a commercial product specifically for the treatment of dry rot fungus. Allow the treatment to cure thoroughly. If the rot is extensive, drill holes into the wood and inject the treatment, or follow manufacturer's instructions.

  5. 5

    Fill the area with an epoxy wood filler, spreading it into the cracks and openings with a chisel or trowel. If the area is deep, apply several layers, allowing adequate drying time (according to the epoxy instructions) between each application to prevent sagging.

  6. 6

    Sand the epoxy once it is dry and paint with a good quality paint, or use a stained epoxy to match the wood tone of the beam you are repairing.

Tips and warnings

  • Purchase repair kits for this type of repair. They come with everything required for a good job.
  • Ventilate the area to prevent future dry rot problems.

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