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Thread: Rotten wood on balcony

  1. #1

    Rotten wood on balcony

    Hello all,

    I am not sure if this thread belongs here. It's about wood, but not really woodworking. I apologize it is inappropriate.

    The floor of my balcony is made of 2x6" wood boards. The paint is starting to peel off. Especially around the outside perimeter which is more exposed to the elements.
    The original paint was holding well after 10 years, but when we repaint the house exterior, we got the balcony done as well. That was 5 years ago. Now the paint is peeling off. It seems like the contractor used the wrong paint (Behr exterior paint from Home Depot).

    I plan to scrape off all the loose paint first. Is it necessary to sand off the remaining?
    What is a better paint for exterior wood? Once repainted, can we periodically repaint over?
    I also see some rot at the extremities of some of the boards. Is there an easy way to fix this? I was thinking of cutoff the ends and put a newly painted board in, but the last board facing out is used as a sole plate and there are 4 columns supporting the roof resting on it. Taking it out will be a challenge. Any way I can save it?

    Thanks much


    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by joe webb; 11-09-2019 at 3:02 PM.

  2. #2
    Looks like all of the boards in pic are bark side down. Should be bark side up. That is your biggest problem, no way will it
    hold paint. I would throw them away. You can get a piece of 3/4 plywood, cover it with glued down light canvas,paint it
    with solid color stain . Shim it to where water runs off. Will hold up for some years without more painting.

  3. #3
    Thanks Mel. One of my main concern is leaving the rotten boards in place. They are nailed to the trusses and should be easy to pry out. Is there any chance the rot would spread down to the trusses? If the trusses give up, then part of the roof will go with it.

  4. #4
    Joe, I'm not a structure guy. But I'm sure you will get good answer from someone. There are some things on you tube
    about the canvas treatment though. It's not new and untested ...its hundreds of years old and proven.

  5. #5
    I think you need to replace the rotten decking. Posts bearing on it makes it even more important.

    Get a couple hydraulic jacks. Screw suitable blocks to 2 adjacent posts as a lifting point and lift the roof weight on 2 posts.

    Replace the first section of decking and leapfrog the jacks, replacing as you go.

    HF has small jacks for around $20. Handy little things.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by joe webb View Post
    Hello all,

    I am not sure if this thread belongs here. It's about wood, but not really woodworking. I apologize it is inappropriate.

    The floor of my balcony is made of 2x6" wood boards. The paint is starting to peel off. Especially around the outside perimeter which is more exposed to the elements.
    The original paint was holding well after 10 years, but when we repaint the house exterior, we got the balcony done as well. That was 5 years ago. Now the paint is peeling off. It seems like the contractor used the wrong paint (Behr exterior paint from Home Depot).

    I plan to scrape off all the loose paint first. Is it necessary to sand off the remaining?
    What is a better paint for exterior wood? Once repainted, can we periodically repaint over?
    I also see some rot at the extremities of some of the boards. Is there an easy way to fix this? I was thinking of cutoff the ends and put a newly painted board in, but the last board facing out is used as a sole plate and there are 4 columns supporting the roof resting on it. Taking it out will be a challenge. Any way I can save it?

    Thanks much


    You can't expect any exterior paint to be maintenance free for five years. You pretty much need to touch up caulk and paint annually. Personally I think the problem is the wood. Everybody seems to use the SPF grade of wood for any exterior application. I use pressure treated wood everywhere I can. Unless you get the kind that is kiln dried after treatment it's more trouble. You either have to stack up the wood and allow it to dry for a month or build with it and wait a month before you paint it. In any case even with no paint the wood will last a decade before it begins to deteriorate. With well maintained paint I believe it would last a lifetime.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Wood type and location for climate. Does it freeze there? paint will fail unless the other side is kept dry.. You should have used stain. Too late now.
    Bill D

  8. #8
    Thanks all for your advices. As a short term fix, I plan to cut off the section that is rotten and put a new painted piece there. I will get pressure-treated lumber. Can I paint on them immediately?

    It was painted when the house was built, and we repainted it with the same color. I don't mind sending it down and stain it. I suppose I need to apply some marine varnish as well. Is that more durable?

    Long term, I would rather use composite decking board for lower maintenance.

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