Historic Siding and Rot Repair

bath, maine

Sometimes we want our work to stand out, but other times, we want it to look like we were never there. That was the case on this historic 1800s Victorian in Bath where a leak caused significant rot damage. We needed to blend into the old board and baton siding, a formidable task considering we were matching wood that was centuries old. 

custom milling

After removing a previous repair that wasn’t up to par, we set about carefully cutting back the siding to a workable baseline, making an effort to cut everything precisely so that when we put everything back together, there wouldn’t be gaps in our work. 

Next, we set about milling the batons. Each of the batons had slightly different measurements, so that meant we had to number the batons. Then we milled each custom baton to match the baton it was replacing. The batons also have angles in them which we needed to match as well. 

putting it all back together

fter we milled out all the batons, we needed to put it all together. Since this was an area that was susceptible to the elements, we wanted to be extra careful that we put this back in a way to avoid future rot damage. It’s important to cut the siding short so that there’s no contact between it and the shingles. It’s also important to seal up the butt ends of wood, especially in a case such as this where the siding is vertically oriented. In nature, trees suck water up from their roots into their truck, through all the branches. That doesn’t change when you cut the tree down. We prefer using emulsified wax on the butt ends to prevent the wood from seeping up moisture that could lead to rot. A quality, preferably oil based primer will also work if emulsified wax is unavailable. As an added measure of caution, we also back prime all our wood in exterior applications. 

final touches

After installing the new board and baton, we applied Bondo to all the seams, sanded, then reapplied. Then it was time to caulk and paint. We are quite pleased with how it came out and think it’s fair to say people walking today can’t see that a repair was ever even needed!