How to Find Out If Your Arlington Home Needs Wood Rot Repair

Lumber is a nearly perfect building material thanks to its beauty, durability, strength, sustainability, and ease of use — which is why it's such a prevalent building material that's used in almost every home in Arlington. In fact, it only has one major weakness: dreaded wood rot.

If you're worried that wood rot could invade your home, or you suspect it already has, you're probably wondering how you can track it down and prevent it from causing serious damage to your house. This guide will cover everything you need to know to find it.

If you do discover rot, you can trust the wood rot repair experts at Mr. Handyman of Arlington and Northwest Mansfield to not only eliminate it, but also repair the problem that caused it in the first place, so it doesn't reoccur.

What is Wood Rot?

It is a form of decay caused by various types of wood-eating fungi which require timber to have a moisture content of 20% or higher in order to grow. While it only affects timber, some varieties are capable of traveling across other materials such as brick and masonry to find new timber to infect.

Wood rot fungi targets cellulose or lignin polymers in timber and eats away at them, which softens and weakens the fibers. This can cause serious structural damage to a building if it attacks support beams, but it can also cause problems like moisture damage inside walls, pest infestations, skyrocketing utility bills, and other unpleasant issues that lower the comfort and safety of your home.

What Are the Signs of Wood Rot?

When you're looking for symptoms, carefully examine your timber for these telltale marks of rot:

  • Discolored wood that is lighter or darker than surrounding material, or has a white, yellow, or purplish hue

  • Texture changes where the lumber appears spongy, stringy, or webbed with cracks

  • Timber is breaking into cube-shaped pieces (this process is called cubical fracture) or crumbling into "sawdust"

  • Signs of swelling timber that is warped or expanding

  • Peeling paint or stain

  • And, in very advanced cases, mushrooms may be sprouting from the timber

Where is Wood Rot Commonly Found?

Exterior timber, such as outdoor decking, is particularly vulnerable to decay because the necessary conditions for fungi growth involve a high moisture content in the timber. Outdoor surfaces are exposed to the weather, so they’re regularly soaked by rain and sometimes never really get the chance to fully dry.

That being said, it's not all about exteriors—there are places inside your home that are susceptible as well. Here are some prime spots for fungus growth:

  • Wood around windows — such as damaged window sills & frames

  • Wood siding

  • Door frames

  • Entryway floors

  • Decks & porches

  • Stairs

  • Fencing

  • Gazebos, sheds, playhouses, & other outdoor structures

  • Wooden soffit & fascia boards

  • Timber in bathrooms — especially poorly ventilated ones that are exposed to a lot of humidity

  • Under sinks & near water supply lines

  • And, attics or crawl spaces

When you're on the hunt, it's also a good idea to check fixtures such as your water heater for signs of water leaks. Even if it's not sitting on or near timber, it's surprising how far a leak can reach and how much damage exposure to water can do.

How Do I Check for Wood Rot?

Using a screwdriver and flashlight, start checking all the places you can think of in your home where there's timber, keeping in mind the signs of rot listed above. Take your time and really get up close wherever possible to examine the timber from as many sides and angles as you can, and don't neglect hard-to-reach areas like crawl spaces where rotten timber can be very damaging.

Not up to the task of running all over your property checking for signs of trouble? No problem—Mr. Handyman can perform a thorough and efficient inspection for you. We're trained for finding all the signs and have seen the ravages of decay many times, so we have the expertise to notice what others may miss.

I Found Wood Rot, What Do I Do?

The first thing you should do is stop the source of moisture that's causing rot. Of course, that may not be possible—if it's weather-related damage to outside timber, you can try shaking your fist at the sky, but that's about it. However, if the moisture is coming from an interior water leak, overflowing rain gutters, a poorly ventilated room with high humidity, or some other preventable source, do whatever you can to stop moisture from reaching the timber.

Next, give Mr. Handyman a call. If the damage is very minor or the timber is not replaceable, your handyman may be able to carry out repairs with epoxy wood consolidant, wood preservative, and a fresh acrylic latex paint job. Otherwise, replacement is generally the most effective option to permanently eliminate rotted wood.

How Can I Prevent Wood Rot?

If you didn't find any problems, or if you did, and they're now repaired, here's a few of the ways you can reduce the risk of future rot:

  • Perform a thorough check of your property as part of your annual maintenance checklist.

  • Trim back trees and bushes so leaves aren't brushing up against decks, stairs, siding, and other exterior timber.

  • Make sure bathrooms are properly ventilated and always run the fan when you're in the shower or bath.

  • Clean rain gutters regularly, so they don't overflow and spill water down the exterior of the house.

Mr. Handyman is Your Local Wood Rot Repair Specialist!

Whether your home is in Arlington or a nearby area such as Mansfield, Coppell, or Grapevine, you can trust the pros at Mr. Handyman of Arlington and Northwest Mansfield to provide quality wood rot repair services and customer care that goes above and beyond.

Give us a call today at 817-567-2433 or request service online to find out why we're Arlington's top choice for expert handyman services!