Bob Vila Radio: Replace Rot-Damaged Trim ASAP

Rotted trim on the outside of your home is a small detail that can become a big problem, and water damage is the prime culprit. Follow these steps to replace your rotted trim—and keep it from happening again.

By Bob Vila | Updated Sep 16, 2020 7:18 PM

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Exterior trim performs a couple of roles. Besides adding a decorative touch, it seals up corners and edges to keep out moisture. Given the exposure it gets from the weather, there’s no wonder that over time, it’s prone to damage from rot.

Replace Rotted Exterior Trim


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Listen to BOB VILA ON REPLACING ROTTED TRIM or read the text below:

To protect your home from further, non-cosmetic damage, check the condition of house trim regularly. Pay special attention to the top and bottom ends, as that’s where water seep in most. If you see rot in one spot, it’s best to replace the entire board. You can always save the undamaged sections for future repair jobs.

Once you’ve cut the new trim to size, apply a coat of primer to all sides, including the back and the ends. Use galvanized nails to fasten the new board into place, then finish off with at least two coats of a high-quality exterior paint.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free.