What is Wood Rot
Wood rot is an unwelcome issue most homeowners experience at one point or another. Wood rot can be found in any part of your home where there is timber as long as the environmental conditions exist for the outbreak. It can be as simple as a small piece of trim to affecting an entire home. Over time wood rot can lead to a number of structural problems, including deteriorated support posts and beams, rotted floor and ceiling joists, and destroyed roof decking. The cost to repair the damage—or, in other words, replace the rotted wood—can run in the tens of thousands of dollars.
It’s essential to understand what causes wood rot, and how to prevent it since wood is the prevailing building material in our structures. Unfortunately, discovering wood rot is difficult since it is often hidden from view beneath wallboards, flooring, and siding.
What Is the Cause For Wood Rot?
Wood rot is a form of decay triggered by the combination of moisture and fungi (microscopic organisms). In order for fungi to grow, the wood must be continuously damp. Fungi will not grow on dry wood. Since there are as many as 5 million types of fungi in the air and soil around us, and there’s no escaping. While many types, such as yeast and mushrooms, are beneficial, others are destructive. The numerous types that trigger wood rot are loosely classified by the three general effects they have on wood.
How Can You Tell if You Have Wood Rot?
The best way to test an area for rot is to simply poke it with a sharper object like a screwdriver. Rotted wood will be soft to the touch. If you can’t sink the blade of the tool in more than 1/8”, the wood has probably not given over to rot yet. Here are just a few examples of rot gone wrong.
- Rot around the window casing. This may seem like a small area but if not repaired water will continue to drip down into other substrates (shingles/clapboards) and plywood behind it allowing the fungus to take hold and take over.
- Shingle rot. The shingles underneath the window can begin to trap moisture behind them. If the shingles are painted shingles this will cause the paint to peel leaving a new area of bare wood to be exposed. This can keep compounding, exposing more bare wood, and allowing more moisture to get behind the shingles, causing rot to set in eventually.
- Even though the rot may not be exposed it can be an unseen menace. The moisture can stay behind the clapboards, softening the sheathing behind it until that is rotted out as well and is where the big headaches can come into play. If not addressed rotting sheathing can lead to rotting framing which can lead to major renovations needed to both the inside and outside of the home.
Make no mistake, wood rot can be very difficult to identify and is not something that should be ignored. Experienced painting companies may be able to identify the rot but most are not equipped to handle it when it is found nor have the right credential to repair the issue. That is why it is important when choosing a painting contractor that the company has the staff and the right credentials.
How To Fix Wood Rot
To fix rotting sheathing or even rotted framing a contractor would need to remove all of the outside substrates (shingles/clapboards) to expose the sheathing, then the rotted areas would need to be removed and replaced with either new plywood or composite material to prevent the area from having issues in the future. Then a Tyvek “ice and water” wrap will need to be put over it to waterproof the area, and finally, the areas would need to be resided and painted (if applicable).
Avoid Unnecessary Delays
Imagine that you are in the middle of getting your home repainted and an area of rot was identified and the painting job could not be completed until the areas were fixed? The project would then have to be put on hold while you scramble to contract with someone else to fix the rot. Now you are held to not one but two schedules which could take months.
One Call Can Do It All
At Universal Painting Contractors, Inc. we understand only too well the challenges that property owners may face when getting their premises painted. We are experts in identifying potential issues in our estimating process and make it a priority to be ready for any unexpected issues that may come up during the project. We have the experience and skilled crews to tackle any challenges, and not only can we tackle them, but they can be coordinated from a central point of communication. No need for multiple contractors.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post and we look forward to hearing from you! Just contact us here or give us a call for a COVID-safe estimate when you are ready.