Repairing Rotten Logs – Epoxy is NOT the Answer!

When repairing rotten logs, epoxy is not the answer. Here’s why using epoxy on log homes and cabins isn’t a good idea.

The Problem

Epoxy used to repair rotten wood
Notice the gaps around this epoxy patch job. Water can get in and the rot can keep doing damage to the log.

There are many different companies on the internet selling products to fix problems with rot in log homes. These fixes include borate rods, liquid treatments and epoxy fillers. If you’ve conducted research on fixing rot in your log home or cabin, you have likely seen a few of these sites. One of the most common log rot repair products out there is generically called “epoxy fillers”.  This type of product is advertised as something to use to fill holes where rot has occurred.

No matter how well a log home is maintained, sometimes rot takes hold on some of the logs. This can cause great concern and the temptation is to fix it quickly to “keep it from getting worse”. This quick fix often includes using an epoxy filler.

Over the years, we at Edmunds & Company have worked on a number of buildings that have had epoxy “repairs” done on the logs in the past. We have seen that this type of repair does not last and at worst, it can cause further rot.

This is what is wrong with epoxy: epoxy is not wood. Epoxy expands and contracts at a different rate than wood does. A few years after the epoxy patch is done, the wood surrounding the patch loosens, and cracks appear around the epoxy. When this happens, water is allowed to make its way into these cracks. Once the water finds its way in, the rot continues. (See Why Do Logs Rot)

Besides the fact that these fillers don’t do what they claim to do, they also don’t look good. Some of these epoxies are mixed with sawdust or wood shavings to give them the appearance of wood or wood grain. As you can imagine, many times this looks very bad.

The Solution

cutting out rot
Cutting out the rotten portion of this log.

When possible, the best way to deal with rot is to cut out the section of the log that is rotten and replace it with another section of log. Here are links to how Edmunds & Company replaces rotten logs:

Bottom line — be wary of epoxy fillers when it comes to log home repair. They generally do not stand up over time to real world conditions.

Contact us if you have rot and want it repaired in a way that will LAST!