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Epoxy covered wood gets saturated by water/moisture doomed?


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Mahogany and Western Red Cedar   (in the form of a canoe ) treated by West System Epoxy with clear hardener  when it was built got exposed to fresh water or high humidity over some 6 years. Especially in areas not ventilated properly. There are patches of darkening in the wood indicating trapped moisture.  Important note: some of the subject wood is covered by glass and some are not.

The question is this. If the boat is properly looked after from now on and not allowed to be exposed to water anymore,  sun dried with good airing all over, would the wood recover over time or the moisture not being able to escape through epoxy/glass  would continue to eat it away to destruction. 

Certain places near the bow, and under deck is completely unreachable for any surgery in the form of scraping epoxy to allow it to dry. 

Any comments, remedies most welcome...

 

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3 hours ago, Omer said:

Mahogany and Western Red Cedar   (in the form of a canoe ) treated by West System Epoxy with clear hardener  when it was built got exposed to fresh water or high humidity over some 6 years. Especially in areas not ventilated properly. There are patches of darkening in the wood indicating trapped moisture.  Important note: some of the subject wood is covered by glass and some are not.

The question is this. If the boat is properly looked after from now on and not allowed to be exposed to water anymore,  sun dried with good airing all over, would the wood recover over time or the moisture not being able to escape through epoxy/glass  would continue to eat it away to destruction. 

Certain places near the bow, and under deck is completely unreachable for any surgery in the form of scraping epoxy to allow it to dry. 

Any comments, remedies most welcome...

 

you could try giving it a thorough coat of glycol to kill any dry rot spores that may think of developing, big caution using this stuff round pets though as it's as toxic as all hell

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Thanks for the glycol suggestion. But i  do not think i can reach the parts to apply such a deadly substance without harming myself or reach them anyway. 

My only chance is to let it dry out and hope it will recover if it ever does.

How about hosing it with salt water and let it dry? Read it somewhere that salt water hinders dry rot to some extent.  

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Technical Advisors at Gougeon Brothers, Inc. are available to answer your questions about WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy Products and help you with your project. The fastest way to get an answer from us is to call and ask to speak to our Technical Advisors toll-free within the United States at 866-937-8797, Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET. From outside the U.S.A, call 1-989-684-7286. Our experienced, full-time Tech Staff is here to help with your questions about epoxy.

 

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Glycol is the thing in your garage you are MOST likely to survive drinking a glass. You still shouldn't drink it.

 

 

Edit- this depends somewhat on the kind of beer you have in the garage refrigerator

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17 hours ago, Dex Sawash said:

Glycol is the thing in your garage you are MOST likely to survive drinking a glass. You still shouldn't drink it.

 

 

Edit- this depends somewhat on the kind of beer you have in the garage refrigerator

Depends on the glycol. Ethylene glycol -- basic Prestone antifreeze -- is extremely toxic and famous for killing pets.  (Like all glycols it is a large sugar/heavy alcohol, and therefore it tastes sweet.) Propylene glycol, aka 'pet-safe antifreeze,' is the product most commonly used as a wood plasticizer/preservative, radiant heating fluid,   fracking fluid, and solvent/flowout aid/retarder/surfactant/emulsifier in latex paints and other waterborne coatings. 

Propylene glycol is "generally considered safe" as a food additive by the FDA. You'll find it in vanilla extract, cupcakes, shampoos, medications (it's a useful time-release agent) and so on. In large quantities, PEG can be hard on the liver.

It's much the same as methyl vs. ethyl alcohol. A little ethyl is pleasant; a lot of ethyl will poison you; a little methyl (or isopropyl) will blind and/or kill you.

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On 6/20/2021 at 8:53 AM, Omer said:

Mahogany and Western Red Cedar   (in the form of a canoe ) treated by West System Epoxy with clear hardener  when it was built got exposed to fresh water or high humidity over some 6 years. Especially in areas not ventilated properly. There are patches of darkening in the wood indicating trapped moisture.  Important note: some of the subject wood is covered by glass and some are not.

The question is this. If the boat is properly looked after from now on and not allowed to be exposed to water anymore,  sun dried with good airing all over, would the wood recover over time or the moisture not being able to escape through epoxy/glass  would continue to eat it away to destruction. 

Certain places near the bow, and under deck is completely unreachable for any surgery in the form of scraping epoxy to allow it to dry. 

Any comments, remedies most welcome...

 

Epoxy is waterproof, so either there was already moisture in the wood when encapsulated, or epoxy encapsulation has been compromised (cracked due to impact or wood movement) or there was a “gap/holiday” in original encapsulation.

While keeping stored in well ventilated area will help keep the wet area from progressing, it likely won’t make it “better” and if the issue is in the coating, until that is resolved, issue could continue to get worse

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Epoxy is waterproof, but water vapor can penetrate epoxy. A tiny bit of water in an enclosed space plus a few summers of baking is the recipe for downfall.

I think the boat is probably fine with good ventilation and drying.

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On 6/23/2021 at 9:30 AM, Russell Brown said:

Epoxy is waterproof, but water vapor can penetrate epoxy. A tiny bit of water in an enclosed space plus a few summers of baking is the recipe for downfall.

I think the boat is probably fine with good ventilation and drying.

Yep, I can personally vouch for the accuracy of this, having built a double floor flotation compartment into a fully epoxy encapsulated rowing boat. Vapor penetrated the epoxy and caused swelling in the thin planking. I suspect I could have prevented the issue by simply keeping the inspection ports open to let things dry out. Apart from a visible (to me) loss of fairness, the boat has been fine. 

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On 6/22/2021 at 2:31 AM, Omer said:

Thanks for the glycol suggestion. But i  do not think i can reach the parts to apply such a deadly substance without harming myself or reach them anyway. 

My only chance is to let it dry out and hope it will recover if it ever does.

How about hosing it with salt water and let it dry? Read it somewhere that salt water hinders dry rot to some extent.  

If you use Ethylene Glycol (not sure this would work like Propylene Glycol???). This is totally non-toxic to humans and animals.  I've never heard of doing this for the problem you describe. We have a PT-11 dingy that is finished bright with a two part epoxy on the inside and LP paint outside. We have a similar issue with water intrusion under the epoxy layer at a few edges, some tiny areas along the gunnel are turning whitish and one area is darkening to a hazy black. It's very minimal but I want to stop it. The dingy lives a somewhat hard life because it is stored upside down on our tramps. I'd like to arrest this issue that's starting to show up. I believe the plywood is sheathed in a very thin layer of angel hair glass with west epoxy then we have sprayed that with a two-part varnish that is super UV resistant just last year.

 

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8 hours ago, 2flit said:

If you use Ethylene Glycol (not sure this would work like Propylene Glycol???). This is totally non-toxic to humans and animals.  I've never heard of doing this for the problem you describe. We have a PT-11 dingy that is finished bright with a two part epoxy on the inside and LP paint outside. We have a similar issue with water intrusion under the epoxy layer at a few edges, some tiny areas along the gunnel are turning whitish and one area is darkening to a hazy black. It's very minimal but I want to stop it. The dingy lives a somewhat hard life because it is stored upside down on our tramps. I'd like to arrest this issue that's starting to show up. I believe the plywood is sheathed in a very thin layer of angel hair glass with west epoxy then we have sprayed that with a two-part varnish that is super UV resistant just last year.

 

The hazy black sounds like water intrusion. The whitish will likely go away with a light sand and clear coat. The PT 11 is sheathed with 4 & 6 oz glass cloth. Outside of hull, rails, chines, etc are 6 oz and the inside of the hull is 4 ox.

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