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Old 04-13-2018, 09:35 PM   #1
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Teak deck leak repair with resin?

Soo my caulk is cracked, a few plugs are missing, and the wood itself has a few cracks.
The decks aren't in bad shape though, no curled up ends or anything.
I was thinking of removing the caulking, replacing missing plugs, taping it off, and pouring thinned resin into the caulk lines/cracks on the deck... basically the same idea as the creepingt crack cure glue.
Then recaulk and sand the decks.
Ideally I'd sand layer of resin off the top sides (along with excess caulking) to keep the teak surface.
In my mind this would add strength by completely attaching the planks to the deck, and stopping water from intruding.
Which kind of resin would you use for this? Epoxy seems about double the price but the main drawback seem like it may be too think to creep into all the cracks and under the planks where water gets in.
I'd like whatever I use to be as close to as thin as water as possible
I was going to experiment first on the lazarette doors to make sure this idea is even feasible.
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:14 PM   #2
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I would forget the caulking. Leave the caulking in place-Firt sand areas vacumn and clean with acetone- Then just use a 1:1 'laminating epoxy' mix from Fiberglass Coatings in ST Pete FL. Thin it out good for first coat. Place a second and third coat unthinned. Wash with water between coats. Sand with 80 grit and then put a Interluxe primer on(that red stuff) and then paint with Interluxe non skid paint color. The least work for the best results.
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Old 04-14-2018, 01:01 AM   #3
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I've seen this done before, it's definitely an option. I like the look of the wood a lot better so if I can I'll keep the look. If my plan fails I may do your idea though. Would you thin with denatured alcohol? 20%?
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Old 04-14-2018, 02:36 AM   #4
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You might want to have a look at "FlexEPox" from Jamestown Distributors. (no affiliation) I've used this to bond wood to FG and am very satisfied with the results. It is supposed to tolerate more movement than brittle epoxies, bond to oily woods like teak along with damp surfaces....sounds like what you'll be dealing with.
It's not water thin but wanted to mention it incase you're not familiar with this product.

Best of luck with your project.
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:58 AM   #5
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if the caulk under the teak is as bad as mine was, what keeps the water ftom getting under the teak from the outer edges?

I dont think there is any real option but pulling the teak up, ehether it goes back down is up to you.

Even with epoxy sealed edges, I dobt they eould last with the anount of working action between the teak and glass below.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:10 AM   #6
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I've seen this done before, it's definitely an option. I like the look of the wood a lot better so if I can I'll keep the look. If my plan fails I may do your idea though. Would you thin with denatured alcohol? 20%?
No use Xylene-- available at Home Depot Acetone will work but it weakens the epoxy.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:33 AM   #7
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"pouring resin thru the previously caulked lines". hmmm.

I have not done this particular repair of a teak deck, so I'm wide open to receive debate on this.. But, I have done a lot of FG build and repair.

Is not the problem that water WILL get in between the teak and the upper deck laminate, and basically sit there and exploit any screw hole deficit? So, if this is going to be an effective repair, you will need to seal the screw holes at the laminate? You will not seal the teak.

So, how to fix the loose screw holes. Remove all the plugs, and then remove the screws. Oversize drill the teak and the FG. Fill with an epoxy/glass strand mix from the bottom (core) up, using a syringe. Redrill to the correct size. Re screw and re plug.

I know, easier typed than done!
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:44 AM   #8
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Diver dave, no doubt that would work. My thinking is that if I can get the resin as close to as thin as water as possible, maybe with another slightly thicker pour afterwards, the resin will creep into everywhere water can (if the deck is pretty dry) and stop water from reaching those areas. That combined with new caulking might stop the leaking?
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Old 04-14-2018, 12:47 PM   #9
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Diver dave, no doubt that would work. My thinking is that if I can get the resin as close to as thin as water as possible, maybe with another slightly thicker pour afterwards, the resin will creep into everywhere water can (if the deck is pretty dry) and stop water from reaching those areas. That combined with new caulking might stop the leaking?
I tried that, using Smith & Co. CPES, which is extremely thin. Two applications, followed by re-caulking. Decks still leaked. I'm now in the process of removing the screws, drilling the holes to 3/8", filling the hole with epoxy, countersinking to 1/2", and installing the bung. No screws, thinking the epoxy plugs and underlying mastic will hold the teak on. If it doesn't hold, or if the deck still leaks, at least all the screws are out so removing the teak won't be so bad. My side decks and bow are done, and the leaks are way better. The stern will be done next month.
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Old 04-14-2018, 12:54 PM   #10
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I tried that, using Smith & Co. CPES, which is extremely thin. Two applications, followed by re-caulking. Decks still leaked. I'm now in the process of removing the screws, drilling the holes to 3/8", filling the hole with epoxy, countersinking to 1/2", and installing the bung. No screws, thinking the epoxy plugs and underlying mastic will hold the teak on. If it doesn't hold, or if the deck still leaks, at least all the screws are out so removing the teak won't be so bad. My side decks and bow are done, and the leaks are way better. The stern will be done next month.
Well that is discouraging... how removable are the screws?
And how thoroughly did you soak the deck in epoxy when you tried it?
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Old 04-14-2018, 01:14 PM   #11
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I like the no-screw concept. A major part of the issue is the teak, in the sun, will expand/contract. This wants to move the end of the screw like a lever arm. The FG, is not affected by moisture instability, and direct sun, like the wood is. So, with the screw movement comes the stress on any sealant around the screw. 30 years of that, and its understandable that there is going to be small openings into the core that water will exploit. You won't be able to seal teak against water migration. dozens of feet of marginally adhered, lines of caulk. Plus, the edges. Plus, all the fittings on top of the teak.

The problem is like trying to rebed a deck cleat, without taking off the cleat.
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:10 PM   #12
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I soaked the deck until it ran out under the teak at the low spot near my rear scupper. Probably a gallon total, maybe more.
The screws are a pain, I remove the 3/8" bungs by drilling a 1/4" hole in the center and using a small chisel to collapse and remove it. Biggest problem is the screw slots get full of junk, so they need to be cleaned out with a pick. I start backing the screw out with a screwdriver because the drill will sometimes wreck the slots. So, bottom line, it's a tedious job. After the screw is out I drill it out to 3/8", being careful not to penetrate the lower skin, countersink to 1/2" in the teak only, and let the deck dry over the winter under shrink-wrap. Some holes take only a little epoxy, some quite a bit as I fill in voids. I've been using wood flour as a filler for these bigger fills. Then countersink again for the 1/2" bungs.
I know there is still moisture in the deck, so this is not the best way to do this, but as I said, this can always be ripped up in the future by the next owner. And I will be quite clear as to what I did.
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:02 AM   #13
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If you wish to keep the teak deck look, rather than paint, I would start with a good inspection and knowledge of deck construction.

If this is teak on a cored deck, you need to know the condition of the core and the condition of the teak to glass seal.

I am almost complete on a deck refurbishment on an Marine Trader 41. 1976.

I've had her 32 years. She was 10 years old when I bought her and was already way behind in deck maintenance. Caulking was separated from teak in many areas. Plugs missing. Core was already wet. I removed all caulk, cleaned, prepped and recaulked with Detco. Best at the time and for the next 25 years.

Now she is 42 years old and a victim of bad design and maintenance.

I've recaulked her entirely every 10 years. Now I had to regroove also. I removed all caulked, regrooved to 3/8" deep.

The core had voids, original and new. I cut 1" plugs from under the deck in the low spots to drain water. I pulled all plugs that had the slightest indication of failed glue and removed and inspected those fasteners. If all was dry and good, replace. Worse case was loose plank due to failed caulking and also a failed core.

The Rot Doctor offers Epoxy Resins to repair rather than replace bad wood. Once you dry out excess moisture, you can fill dried out rotten areas that have integrity with their penetrating Epoxy. This is about the consistency of diesel fuel and will saturate a dried core and fill thin voids with a very strong and slightly flexible Epoxy.

They also have a Layup and Laminating Epoxy for voids. It is also more flexible than some other Main name epoxies that will crack when flexed.

For caulking I recommend TDS SIS 440, a single part , top of line caulk.

Good luck. I'm glad to hear you want the teak. For 30 years people have said cover them, while admirers said they were beautiful.

At 60, I'm happy with the results. And my Sitka Spruce spars are varnished.

My next boat will have no cores and no brightwork exposed to the sun. :-) You'll only see Glass and Stainless. Lol. Enjoy
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:57 PM   #14
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Last Tango: I plan to use the SIS 440... also I emailed rot Dr and they seem to think my plan could work to seal the deck... it might be worth a try at least.
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Old 04-17-2018, 04:01 PM   #15
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I soaked the deck until it ran out under the teak at the low spot near my rear scupper. Probably a gallon total, maybe more.
Mike, how did the deck look after you were done soaking it in epoxy? did you tape off the tops of the planks? Or did you sand the epoxy off afterwards? and I would imagine for an entire boat it would take far more than one gallon. I might give the thin/flexible rot doctor solution a try. I feel like if the caulking needs to be replaced anyway there isn't a whole lot to lose.... and if I go your route later the epoxy under the deck would help hold it on without the screws (I would think)
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Old 04-17-2018, 05:31 PM   #16
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The gallon was probably what I used after removing all the dead caulking. Ran it down all the seams until it leaked out under the teak at the lowest point. I didn't get that all cleaned up so there are still some traces of the CPES on the fiber glass where the teak ends. (There is a couple of inches gap between the teak and the gunwales). This was after sanding and cleaning the grooves to get ready for caulking. It may have been more, I bought a ton of the stuff to inject into the decks later. Any spills on the teak sand right off. You'll need to sand after caulking anyway. By the way, I tried taping when I caulked, but found it easiest to go without; just overfill a little, go down it with a plastic putty knife and let it set up. Next day sand off excess caulk with 60 or 100 grit. Comes out looking nice. Unfortunately didn't stop my leak.
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:20 PM   #17
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Before going to a lot of trouble on the teak with band-aid type fixes it would be best to determine the condition of the deck core. If you are getting internal leaks then significant areas of the core are likely to be wet and rotting. The only way to adequately address that is to replace the core.

I ended up replacing all core in my foredeck, about 95 sq ft area. There were no internal leaks but several large soft, spongy areas were quite obvious. The PO had previously tried to repair the deck by lifting the teak, re-bedding it and using Robertson screws. Just under 1000 screws. But he did not address the rotting core, which some years later I had to deal with. The good part was that the Robertson screws were not that difficult to remove. The bad part was that the new caulk was sticky are got over everything as I was removing the teak. We replaced the core, glassed a new top layer and then painted with non-slip finish.

More recently I dealt with an area of my side deck that had lifting teak, where screws or even additional new screws would not hold. We removed the teak and cleaned up the top glass layer of the deck. Then drilled some test holes to determine the extent of wet core. We decided the wet areas were relatively small. There were no soft, spongy areas. No internal leaks in this area. So we drilled holes oversize, filled with thickened epoxy and re-laid the teak. The screws now held the teak down firmly. Re-caulked and hoped for the best. Its only been 2 years, but going well. I have two other side deck areas that will need attention soon, one of which has small leak into ER. I am hoping that I can avoid core replacement in these areas also, but it will depend on how much wet/rotten core the scout drilling outlines. I would hope to re-lay the teak, but that is contingent on being able to lift it all with minimal damage.

So, if you have internal water leaks I would say you need to lift the teak off completely and assess the core condition.
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Old 04-17-2018, 08:18 PM   #18
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Well luckily there are no soft spots that I can tell, and I believe most of the leaks came from the windows. I reallllly dont want to remove all the teak to re lay... Especially if the deck isn't soft.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:51 PM   #19
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Here's what we did to "fix" our 37-year old teak decks... (Published in the Spring 2017 issue of Cruising Outpost magazine)
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:23 AM   #20
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We used Kiwigrip on our bow to refinish it. We did not have teak decks and no soft core so we were just refinishing the deck. So far so good with the Kiwigrip.
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