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Windows and Doors/Repairing rot at bottom of door jamb


Hello Russell,

My back South-facing door doesn't have a storm door.

Recently I made a discovery. Over the years rain has seeped in through the door. It rotted out part of the interior floor under the lino next to the door's corners. It also rotted out the bottom corners of the door jamb.

I replaced the interior floor OSB. Now I'm trying to fix the jamb corners. The jamb's outside.

I followed a DIY repair video I saw on Youtube. After digging out the rotted jamb area, I filled in the cavity with Elmer's Probond Wood Filler. My plan was to wait until it cured and then sand the filler to (more or less) match the existing jamb. The Elmer's product said it should cure all the way down in 8 hours.

However, it has been over 24 hours. At the very bottom of the jamb, the wood filler has not cured. The outside surface is dry but it's spongy--I can feel the softness underneath. The higher areas of the filler feel dry and hard, it's fine.

The cavity down there at the bottom is the deepest. It's about 4 or so inches deep. I filled it all in with the Elmer's.

Now I'm wondering if the stuff will even cure in a cavity that deep? Will the hard surface shell over and keep the deeper filler from drying?

So, my question is do I

1. Accept that it won't cure, dig out the soft stuff, and do something else? Or

2. Hang tight and wait patiently for the stuff to dry/cure all the way down? Or

3. Do something else entirely?

BTW, I'm also putting in a new storm door to avoid this issue in the future.

Here's pictures of the work in progress. The filler looks a little different between the photos but that must be the light. It's the same stuff.

Thoughts and advice appreciated.



I have seen wood filler take up to four days to dry when patching a large area or an area that is an inch or more deep. Did you using exterior wood putty? Elmers makes indoor & outdoor wood putty. Dap makes a wood putty that can be used in both situations. That has nothing to do with the drying time. If you used interior wood putty, then I would call Elmer's customer service to see if they think it will hold up to the weather before you go through the trouble of sanding & painting.
They also sell a liquid expoxy that you brush onto rotten wood. It will harden rotten wood to a solid piece again. Also you should take a paint brush and apply bleach to the section where you took the rotten wood out of. You have to kill the spores or mold that is causing the wood to rot or you are taking a chance it might keep rotting under the wood putty.
Question 3, Do something entirely different, you can replace the rotten wood with a section of new wood. Or you can buy just one side of the door jam and cut a section the size you need. They sell each section of the door jam separately if you need them. Go an inch or two above where the rot ends. Chances are the new wood or jam you buy will be a little smaller than what is on there now. So you will have to shims and wood putty to cover up the seems where you cut or pieced the new wood with the old.

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Russell Spataro


Construction, home repair, tile, cabinets, flooring, framing, windows, siding, concrete, new construction, remodeling


14 years as a custom home builder

25 years as a carpenter

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