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Home Improvement--General/Repair of damage redwood plywood siding


Hi Tony,
I have a 50-year old redwood house which has redwood plywood siding (about 1/2 inch panels (32"x8')). Part of one panel was infested with flying termites which have caused several ply thicknesses in an area of about 4 sq. ft. to be eaten/destroyed but for the most part the panel is structurally pretty sound. It is damaged on the exterior of the paneling. I wonder whether it would be OK to use wood filler to replace the damaged plies or should I cut out the damaged area entirely and replace it with new exterior plywood paneling.
If you think I could use wood filler, do you recommend any specific brand/type of filler?
Thanks for your thoughts on this repair.

Hi Roland,

Sorry to hear your home was damaged by termites.  

Being from North Carolina I am completely unfamiliar with redwood plywood siding.  I do however have considerable experience using various wood fillers which I feel will be sufficient to answer your question.  Most wood fillers are intended to fill small imperfections such as nail holes, knot holes or small splits and cracks.  When I need to make repairs on larger areas I have had great success using body fillers such as Bondo.  

Bondo is easy to mix and apply and can be built up in several layers.  If you use a wood filler for your repair, Bondo would likely yield the best results.  Although I often use auto body filler, there is a version that is specifically made for wood repair which is thicker and less prone to sagging when applied to vertical surfaces.  Please be aware that bondo will not take stain like wood and the use of Semi-transparent stains over bondo is not advised. Solid color stains and paint should work fine as long the surrounding texture is emulated when finishing the bondo.  If you would like more information on using body filler for repairs you may find the posting Woodpecker Damage Repair from my blog helpful.

I elaborated on using body filler for your particular repair because you seemed interested in that approach.  While I do think it's possible to effect your repair using a body filler I do not feel it is the appropriate method.  Four square feet is quiet a large area to repair with any type filler.  Additionally, because of potential problems with adherence and excessive movement caused by expansion and contraction of dissimilar materials, I am skeptical of how long the repair would last.

I believe replacing the damaged sheet of plywood siding will result in a superior repair.

I hope I have been of some help in this matter.  Good luck with your repair  

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Tony Wood


I can answer a wide range of home improvement and maintenance questions. My expertise is in carpentry, painting, framing, siding/boxing, doors, windows, decks and screen and glass enclosures. Wood's Home Maintenance Service


I am a life time resident of North Carolina with over 30 years experience in multiple facets of the industrial, commercial and residential construction industry. For the past 23 years I have owned and operated Wood's Home Maintenance Service , providing services primarily in Johnston, Wake and Sampson Counties of North Carolina.


Several Home improvement articles published on Angie's List and other online forums.

High School graduate ~ proficient in CAD (computer aided design), Open Office program suite.

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