How to fix a rotting door frame?

06 Jul 2021
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No house is immune from wood rot. Tiny microscopic organisms are responsible for rotting timber, and it has become a homeowner’s worst enemy because it can lead to extensive structural problems.

The organisms responsible for rotting door frames are fungi. They multiply and grow in moisture and attack the timber eating it away layer by layer.

Rotting door frames exposed to the elements are a common problem. Water will pool around the base leaving it constantly damp. In Australia, there is dry and wet rot – but both need moisture to survive. It’s fairly straightforward to fix a rotting door frame and we’ve gathered together some guidance to help.

Rot or not? The simple test

It’s easy to discover whether your door is rotting. Use a thin blade of a knife and sink it into the wood. Alternatively use a nail, safety pin, or top of a screwdriver that will only leave a small hole. If any of these penetrate more than a few millimetres - your frame is rotting. The rotten wood needs to be cut out of the frame so it cannot spread.

Assessing the damage

To repair the door frame, assess the damage. Press into the wood, checking for spongey areas, as this will guide you to the extent of the problem.

You need to remove all the rotten wood and an extra area as an added precaution to protect the healthy door frame. Remove an additional three centimetres above the top of the rot as a buffer.

Cutting out the rot

Once you’ve removed the rotten area with a Stanley knife, measure the size of the gap left. The thickness of the frame and the extent of the damaged area will determine whether you use wood filler or replace it with a section of timber.

If it’s small, fill it with wood filler. Once it’s spread into the recess and sits slightly flush from the rest of the frame, let it dry. Then sand it down to a smooth finish.

Wipe away the area to remove dust, and then prime and finish the wood to match the rest of the frame.

For larger areas, instead of filler, replace with timber cut to size. Fix it with either nails or strong wood glue. Prime and apply a finish to match.

Prevention rather than cure

If you notice timber rot on a door frame early, it’s easy to repair and won’t cause extensive damage.

External doors succumb to rot the most. Kitchen and bathroom doors are also prone to rotting because they are in areas where moisture collects.

Doors are only as good as the quality of timber used in the manufacturing process. Door Stop uses only the best-engineered wood that is the most stable for the Western Australian Climate. We offer a warranty to give you peace of mind.

Experience the quality for yourself at our two showrooms in Osborne Park and Joondalup. Read our Google reviews, and you will learn why we’re the door company of choice in Perth, so why not pay a visit today?

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