Soft Spots – A Quick Fix

So Lynne Marie has a couple soft spots due to some delamination on her forward deck. I should say had, since I’ve mostly fixed them now, just need to do a bit of sanding and paint to finish the job. The simplest way to fix minor soft spot on a deck is to drill holes and inject thickened epoxy. I used West Systems 610 self mixing cartridges which made the process exponentially easier – no mixing, low mess, no catastrophic mixing failures! They are a bit harder on the budget, but for small jobs in my opinion they’re totally worth every time saving penny. I used them when installing my ports as well and can attest to their no slump, no drip, can be used overhead claims – its a great product in my book.

Materials need; 610 Epoxy Cartridges, Caulking Gun, Drill, Squeegee, Acetone

Materials need; 610 Epoxy Cartridges, Caulking Gun, Drill, Squeegee, Acetone

Overview of deck, at this point I had already filled port side and was getting ready to start on starboard.

Overview of deck, at this point I had already filled port side and was getting ready to start on starboard.

Pile of goo a good sign that area's filled :)

Pile of goo a good sign that area’s filled 🙂

So here’s the process in case any of you ever need to inject a deck. Drill holes in soft areas of deck, being careful to only drill through the first layer of fiberglass and not punch right on through the bottom layer. I could tell right away that the interior of my deck was not damp rotting wood because my drill was spitting out nice dry shavings – good news! Now for injecting, load up the 610 epoxy into a high thrust caulking gun (any caulking gun will work but I learned on my ports to spring the extra $12 for the sake of not crippling my hands) fit tip down into hole in the deck so that tip seals and begin injecting. Squeeze in a good amount give it a moment to settle, pull the tip out, if the goo does not begin to rise back out of the hole keep injecting there’s more space there to fill. Now pull your mind out of the gutter. 😉 You’ll know once the deck won’t take anymore in that spot when the goo starts backing its self out of the hole making an epoxy pile on the deck. I tried to start in the center of the biggest area and work my way out to the edges, and I did one side of my deck at a time. Use a squeegee to clean up excess epoxy on deck, and acetone to wipe off the stickiness around the holes and more than likely off your hands too. That’s pretty much it! Make sure you have zero chance of rain and let that goo do it’s thing. Revisit the next day to make sure everything is firmed up and repeat process anywhere that’s still soft. All an all about a 20 minute project. Talk about easy.

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