The Rot Doctor


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Subject: Rotten Plywood Floor Trailer
Date: Thu, 04 Feb 1999

This is a great site, and the products you offer may be the answer to my prayers.

My travel trailer is a 1976 twenty-eight foot Argosy built by Airstream. It is suffering some severe rotten areas in the back end and especially where the floor meets the skin. There are some gaps (about 2" W X 5" L) but the floor so far has not separated or fallen away from the skin supports. I have tried Git-Rot, following their instructions, drilling holes etc. and it didn't seem to penetrate very far into the half inch marine plywood floor. The floor is completely dried out, but is still a little damp where the dry rot is worse, but it should be dry by the time I am ready to apply the CPES. The last 7 feet X 8 feet approximately of the trailer has been completely stripped out so I have full access to the flooring and the skin. My strategy is to epoxy this area first with two coats of your CPES as suggested in other Questions & Answers responses, and then fill the voids with your Lay-up & Laminating Resin and finish with a mixture or L&L with your Wood Flour. Ultimately I intend to epoxy the entire plywood floor after repairing some other small soft and rotten spots where the pipes have leaked in the past. There are a couple of blind areas that I cant get at directly and am considering the Injection kit to epoxy these. I am planning on covering the plywood with something like "Bruce" flooring laminated hardwood flooring after the curing the rotten plywood.

I live aboard full time up in Ontario Canada and I have to really watch the bucks. I am convinced that your products will really do the job - but I am concerned with shipping and boarder customs - I am figuring on two US gallons of the CPES some solvent (don't know how much, a couple of quarts of L&L and a bag of your Wood Flour. Also require the Injector Kit and would like the Respirator you feature.

I'm in no hurry for this material but I am intending on getting going in the middle of March. So its a question of Warm Weather CPES or Cold. The cost of all this stuff (US dollars!!!) and the best method of shipping to me. I have no Customs Broker. It's possible I could work a deal through a friend who owns a company that is importing and exporting to the US all the time - this could save a lot of potential hassles.

Thank you for your patience and please respond,

John B.

John,

Ah, you Airstream guys! At least you're sitting in a decent piece of equipment...wood rot not withstanding. Boats and trailers -- impossible to keep the water out so you do always get the rot.

You're right about the Git-Rot -- it just doesn't penetrate very far.

The repair plan you outline sounds good. Pay particular attention when applying the CPES to thoroughly soak any end-grain areas, and cracks and crevices. Allow the wood to absorb as much of the CPES as it will. It will penetrate around the Git-Rot without problems. After all this is done, pay special attention to the edges where wood and skin join and make sure you have good strength there. It shouldn't be a problem, but if things are still wobbly then you might have to consider going underneath and screwing/bolting on some support plywood panels. But hopefully that won't be necessary.

You can use the Cold Weather Formula with temperatures up to 60F (even higher actually -- it just sets more quickly, which in your case I don't think is a major issue. The Warm Weather Formula doesn't really work very well below 50F.

Get a respirator mask with filters that can handle organic fumes. We sell ones made by Moldex, or you should be able to find them locally.

For areas you can't get at directly, injecting the product into hidden areas (assuming they are dry) will do you a lot of good. The CPES will penetrate wherever there are cracks, crevices, holes and do a good job on restoring the wood and making it highly rot resistant. You can also attack it all from underneath (assuming that you can get at the backside of the flooring) with a coat of CPES, which will penetrate vertically to some extent.

Now, getting the CPES into Canada...the truth is no US carrier except FedEx will cross the border with a Hazardous Material, and you don't even want to know what they charge. Very high -- about US$150.00 just for the freight! Most of our Canadian customers have us ship the product to some point in the US near the border and then drive across and pick it up. Canada has no problems with CPES coming in and we supply invoices and NAFTA paperwork to make everyone happy. Maybe your friend can help you. Just make sure he knows that CPES is a Class II Hazardous Material.

We can ship in the other materials by normal means -- postal or UPS.

It isn't going to be cheap, especially with the Can/US exchange rate being what it is, but then it's the ultimate solution to your problem. If you're going to keep the trailer then it's probably worth the money.

Let us know if we can be of further help. And thanks for your interest.

Doc

Note: for updated information on shipping see our Shipping Options page.

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