How to Repair Log Rot

log rotThe best strategy when treating wood rot is to remove the rotted areas. See the options below for repairing wood rot.

For logs with significant rot damage (50% or more):

 If a log on your home is more than 50% eaten away by rot, the structural integrity of the home has been compromised and it is important to move ahead with a plan to replace the rotted log. Make sure to contact an experienced log home renovation professional to replace a log.  A number of such professionals can be found on the Find a Contractor section of

If you just have the beginnings  of a log rot problem (i.e. a soft spot in the log) consider the below treatments:

1. Remove, Protect and Replace

  • Make a vertical cut on either side of the soft spot to the depth of the soft wood.  
  • Then use a coal or vibrating chisel and hog out the rotted wood until you reach solid  sound wood.   
  • Level out the area to a flat surface.  
  • Coat the area with Shellguard RTU (borate) to prevent further expansion of rot.
  • Allow the Shellguard to dry for 3-5 days.  
  • Using a piece of log siding or a section of whole  log cut to the depth of the hole, cut a segment to precisely fill the gap.
  • Fasten the section in place with Liquid Nail and caulk all edges with Energy Seal. Apply  Shellguard RTU and then the wood finish you have selected.  
  • As water is usually the cause of rot issues, make sure that the source of the water problem gets solved.

2. Use a Epoxy system developed specifically for wood like the M-Balm and E- Wood epoxy system:

  • Following the steps listed above to hog out the rotted wood.
  • When you get to solid wood, coat the area with Shellguard RTU (borate).
  • Allow the Shellguard to dry for 3-5 days and then re-coat the area with M-Balm. M- Balm is a 2 part epoxy primer. This prepares the area to accept the E-Wood Filler.
  • Fill the primed area with E-Wood and shape to the log profile. The epoxy filler will be stronger than the original wood.
  • Sand the area and apply finish.
    • Please note: The E-Wood has little absorbency and must be used in conjunction with film forming finishes such as Lifeline Ultra 2  or Ultra 7 ,  Sikkens Log & Siding or WeatherSeal.  Penetrating products such as Q8 Log Oil and Seal Once Poly Blend  do not work well in this situation. E-Wood has a wood tone but it may not match your homes exterior wood tone. Use multiple stain coats to minimize any blotchiness and spotting.

Article authored by Bill Frykberg,

6 thoughts on “How to Repair Log Rot”

  1. I never knew until you shared that one of the key indicators of a rotten log is when you felt and spotted a soft spot in the wood and that that part needs to be removed and replace instantly before it affects the whole wood. This is exactly what happened to my old wooden bench. It costed me so much to purchase this antique bench in my garden and realized that it needs an instant repair so it can still be utilized. Hiring an expert for rotten log repairs to me is a way to go because he knows exactly what to do to restore its sturdiness.

  2. I appreciate the tip about using an epoxy system as a primer to finish the repair. My wife and I noticed some of our columns inside teh house need rot repair. I’m not much of a handyman, so I will hire an expert to get the wood columns repaired.

    1. Hi Gail,

      This article has everything you need to go through the repair process. If you have any questions about a specific step, give us a call: 888-208-2248

  3. I need a contractor or professional who deals with log homes. I have some log rot I need addressed.asap

  4. Last summer, we weren’t able to visit our vacation cabin due to heavy storms and when we came back this spring, the walls were damaged with wood rot. I’m glad to know that it can be repaired by an epoxy system and it can actually be stronger than the original wood once fixed properly. I hope my dad could find a great contractor who can still maintain the aesthetic integrity of the cabin.

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