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Repair Splits in Redwood Exterior



I have redwood board (1 X 12) and bat (1 X 3) redwood siding, in reasonable shape but many of the boards have developed cracks and I am looking for the best way to repair and fill those cracks.  I have tried both using exterior wood putty and caulk in the splits in the past, and neither seems to last more than 6 months as a rapir.  The wood putty in particular just seems to crack soon after the fill.  I'm thinking that there might be a specific product that can handle the shrinking and swelling of redwood boards? 


Also, I am in the Bay Area, CA - so moderately wet in winter and moderate heat in summer.



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Posted 2011-02-07T18:13:02+0000  by JWooster JWooster

Dear JWooster,


Coach Dave here and I know home repairs can seem time consuming, but they are worth it, so let's see what we can do to address your problem.


First off, redwood is a very durable wood and not as susceptible to bugs and climates like other woods are, so it is a great choice for exterior siding.  In the bay area the constant humidity changes  from the ocean causes an expansion and contraction that will crack even the most dense of woods. 



Most people sand the damaged area semi smooth, prime the wood with any one of these great primers,




next, fill the cracked areas with a high quality wood filler like these:



Then sand area filled, next prime, now your ready to paint with an exterior paint or seal.


The problem with these methods is like you stated is moisture most likely will take it's toll, however there are other options as well.  You could simply replace the redwood boards and seal with an exterior water sealer such as:



kilzsealer.jpgthompsonsealer.jpgbehr sealer.jpg


A last option would be to use a composite wood instead of redwood.  This would be an option if your painting only because it would not match your existing redwood.


I'm hoping your painting your siding or at least water sealing to protect the wood.  Remember, maintaining your home is always going to be an ongoing thing, so look as this as a opportunity to change or upgrade the look of your home.


Let me know if you have any more questions and happy do-it-yourself'ng.


Coach Dave




Posted 2011-02-07T22:13:38+0000  by Dave_HD_OC

Hi Dave:


The steps you describe are more or less what I've done in the past, and yes all my redwood siding is painted.


I have used the mini-wax wood filler (yellow can in your picture) and it seems to crack, or the split just opens up slightly wider than the original fill.  That is why I was thinking that maybe something more flexible or that can expand and contract might be available?  Maybe something closer to caulk?



Posted 2011-02-09T23:27:22+0000  by JWooster

Dear JWooster, 


Thanks for clarifying the condition of the redwood as being painted. This helps us figure out the conditions we are dealing with and will ultimately help in resolving the cracking issue.


My recommendation is to use PCWoody.  This product has the consistency of peanut butter, has a very slow curing time, and bonds better than anything I know of.  This PC Woody is even rated for wet-grab on moist surfaces as well as resistance to salt moisture common in the bay area.  


Having dealt with similar problems in the past the bonding, cure time, and flexibility of the product has to be addressed  to have the proper results your looking for.  This product is an equal parts two can wood epoxy paste and is available online only ,but is well worth it. 


When you have resolved this issue please post a before and after photo if you can.  This would be a big help to everyone...especially you.







Yours Respectfully,

Posted 2011-02-10T19:52:52+0000  by Dave_HD_OC
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