The best treatments for rotten wood columns is to repair them with materials that will not just cover up the problem will last throughout the years. Wood columns can be an amazing accent to any home, but when they begin to decay and rot, repairing them can be a time consuming, tedious job. Even so, though, repairing these columns yourself will not only save you a substantial amount of money, but it will also give you a completed project that is worth displaying to your friends and family.
Wood Putty and Caulking
The most common way to repair rotten wood columns is to use wood putty and touching up with paintable caulk. Before beginning this repair, though, be sure that you completely remove all of the rotten area within the column, otherwise the problem will resurface within a year a so. After the rotten areas have been removed, you begin the repair by drilling small holes into the solid wood surrounding the area that you are planning to fix, which eliminates cracking when the wood putty hardens. The putty is then pressed into the area, sanded after it has dried, and topped off with caulk, primer, and paint.
This method of repairing rotten columns is by far the best, and it does not just cover the problem up. If you take your time and form the repair to match the existing column perfectly, no one will even be able to tell that a repair has been made.
Epoxy Penetrants and Fillers
Using an epoxy penetrant and filler is one of the easiest ways to fix rotten columns, and it usually will make the repaired area stronger than the original wood had ever been. These repair materials are used exactly as a normal wood putty would, and has to be formed to match the existing column. As with making a repair with wood putty, make sure that the entire area is cleaned out. You do not want any rotten wood left in place. After the area is free from rotten wood, drill small holes into the surrounding wood, and then fill the entire area with the epoxy pentrants or filler. After it has had time to set, sand the area down so that it matches the curves and edges that were already present. If any cracks remain after this repair, you can either add more of the compound onto the area, or you can fill the remaining areas with caulk before you prime and paint it.
Even though there are numerous other repair idea on how to fix a rotten column, these two are by far the best, and most permanent, ways to fix the problem. As I stated before, when you make a repair such as this you do not want anybody to know that a repair has been made, so take your time and mold the repair to match the original shape. After a coat of primer and a fresh coat of paint, it will never look like the column had been rotting at all.