Whether you know it or not, all Denton homeowners are locked into a battle that has been ongoing since our ancestors first began building shelters out of wood—the epic fight against the scourge of wood rot. Timber is a beautiful, classic material that is strong, durable, readily available, and easy to work with, so it's not difficult to understand why builders and homeowners keep choosing it for home building projects around the world. Its susceptibility to rotting is its only weakness, but it can be a really big problem—especially if it's allowed to run rampant without Denton wood rot treatment.
If you suspect you've got decaying timber on your residential or commercial property in Denton, TX, you likely have a few questions—like how do I find it, and how can I chase it off my property for good? This guide covers the answers to some commonly asked questions about Wood rot repair, along with expert advice from qualified wood rot repair professionals in your local area.
When you discover the telltale signs of a structure that is in serious need of wood rot treatment, count on your local Denton handyman to leap into the battle on your behalf and banish it from your kingdom quickly and effectively. The team of service professionals at Mr. Handyman of Flower Mound, Lewisville, and Denton has years of experience dealing with wood rot repair in Denton, TX, and other nearby parts of North Texas, so we know exactly what to look for and may be able to find issues others would miss. We're proud to provide expert workmanship and customer care that goes above and beyond on every job.
What is Wood Rot?
Pretty much everyone has seen rotting wood before, on the outside of houses and any other structure that is exposed to the elements outside or even just fallen logs in the forest. But even though it's a regular part of life, most people don't know a lot about it—like what causes it and that there are different types. Basically, wood rot is a form of decay that affects any timber with a high moisture content above 20% or so in the right temperature conditions and can cause severe structural damage over time by causing the timber to soften and crumble apart to the point that it needs Denton wood rot treatment from a professional handyman.
Cause of Rotten Timber
We mentioned above that wood rot only damages timber that has a high moisture content. It's a form of fungi that eats away at certain parts of timber, depending on the particular variety, and it needs moisture to begin growing. That's why outdoor structures such as decks, porches, sheds, fences, and exterior trim on your house are so likely to need Wood rot repair services. They are often soaked by the rain, sometimes with little chance to dry out between soakings, so they end up absorbing a lot of water, and the moisture content goes up. In fact, wood rot is a big reason why you need Denton gutter cleaning services.
Of course, timber inside your house can rot as well. It's not as vulnerable because it's not as likely to get wet, but it can happen in places like under a leaky plumbing fixture, on a hardwood floor in a location that's prone to moisture like a mudroom, or even because of condensation seepage in a poorly ventilated bathroom. Regardless of where on your property it is, all wood rot is essentially caused by water damage to the timber. In fact, wood that remains perfectly dry indoors can remain in solid, strong condition for well over a century, but timber that is often soaked with water is likely to rot within a few years.
There are many different types of decay that require Denton wood rot treatment, but there are a few broad categories that are typically found in or around homes. They attack different parts of the timber fibers, but all have similar effects.
- White Rot: This variant attacks lignin, which is part of the structural fibers of timber. It breaks down lignin and leaves the lighter-colored cellulose intact. The decay process gives the material that's left behind a whitish or yellowish look and a stringy, spongy texture. It thrives at room temperature, around 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, so building interiors are an attractive place for it to grow—but it's also more than capable of taking hold outdoors in our climate here in Denton.
- Brown Rot: You'll often hear this type referred to as dry rot, but that's a confusing name because it still needs a high moisture content to start growing. It was historically found on ships after the timber had been removed from the water and dried out, making it seem like it was affecting dry wood. It attacks cellulose, leaving the darker-colored lignin behind, which causes the timber to shrink and break apart in cube-shaped chunks in a process called a cubical fracture. This variety thrives in the same temperature range as the white variant. However, it is considered more aggressive because, while it only affects lumber, it is capable of crossing non-lumber materials such as plaster and masonry to reach new patches of timber.
- Soft Rot: This type secretes an enzyme that breaks down cellulose by creating small cavities, which of course, causes the material to soften and break apart. It looks quite similar to the brown variant, but it's not as aggressive and is more often found on deadfall in the forest. That being said, it does thrive in a wider temperature range, from about zero to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is capable of affecting man-made structures that aren't protected by a moisture-resistant sealant.
Where Should I Check for Signs My Property Needs Wood Rot Repair?
Since excessive moisture is the key to what causes decay in timber, you should check for signs of wood rot in any and all timber that is (or could be) frequently exposed to excess water. That includes—but is not limited to—locations such as:
- Wood siding, soffits, and fascia boards
- Window sills and window frames
- Exterior doors, jambs, and sills
- Floors in mudrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms
- Underneath sinks, near toilets, and in the general area of other plumbing fixtures like your water heater
- Under or near water-related appliances such as dishwashers and laundry machines
- Near leaks in water supply lines or sewage lines
- Outdoor decking material on porches and decks
- Stairs and fences
- Gazebos, sheds, playhouses, and other outdoor structures
- Attics and crawl spaces
How Do You Fix Rotten Wood Without Replacing It?
That's a bit of a trick question because usually, you don't. There's no way to completely restore rotted wood to its former condition due to the fact that parts of the fibers are completely gone. That's why the most common way of handling Wood rot repair is by removing the affected piece of wood altogether, then replacing it with green-treated or pressure-treated wood that is more resistant to moisture incursion. The next steps are to apply a few coats of paint or solid stain and then follow up with a sealant that will lock out water and prevent decay.
However, there are a few situations where removing the timber is not necessarily the best course of action. It could be that the affected piece would be prohibitively difficult to remove or that there are only a couple of minor patches of discoloration because you caught it in the early stages. In that case, your handyman professional may be able to take care of the Denton wood rot treatment by scraping out the decayed parts (or scrubbing them away with a wire brush) and then filling the gaps with epoxy filler. We'll then paint over the top of the repair, so it's invisible and apply sealant for added protection.
What Do I Do If I Find Wood Rot on My Denton Property?
If you've been looking around and you've spotted some trouble spots on your timber that are going to need Denton wood rot treatment, don't panic! Here's what to do next.
Stop the Moisture
First, you need to stop the source of moisture if at all possible. You can't control the weather, so that may not be possible if the water is falling right out of the sky, but if there are temporary measures you can take, like throwing a tarp over the area to keep it dry, you might as well go ahead and give it a try until the problem can be addressed by a Wood rot repair handyman. But if the problem is related to something like excessive humidity in a bathroom without a window, or a plumbing leak, it must be corrected before you can get Denton wood rot treatment. If the damaged timber is replaced with new material that's allowed to become damp all over again, the same problem will occur again, and you'll need further repairs.
Apply Preservative to Minor Damage
Wood rot repair is definitely one of those things that's a lot easier to deal with the earlier you notice the problem and take steps to halt the decay process. If you've noticed a few discolored patches that appear lighter or darker than the rest of the material, you may be able to save them by applying a wood preservative that contains boric acid or copper. If you're coping with the white variant, that may be all you need to do to stop it in its tracks, but make sure to monitor that area in the future and ensure that the decay process has come to a stop. However, if you have the brown variant, remember that it can travel over non-timber surfaces. The best practice is to treat the timber with a fungicide and sterilize any nearby surfaces with a biocide to make sure you got it all, and it won't be rearing its ugly head in the near future.
Call Your Local Denton Wood Rot Treatment Expert
When you've done all you can and need an experienced handyman to provide Wood rot repair services, it's time to call in the professionals at Mr. Handyman to take care of the rest. We have dealt with decay that ranges from minor to severe in some of the unlikeliest and difficult-to-reach places, so we can handle any signs of timber decay on your property efficiently and effectively.
How Can I Avoid the Need for Wood Rot Repair in the Future?
The only way to prevent timber from rotting is to keep it dry. That may seem daunting, but even timber that is outdoors and exposed to the rain can remain dry if it is diligently maintained and resealed every couple of years. With a few coats of paint or solid stain and a generous layer of sealant, you can lock moisture out and keep the timber structures on your property in excellent shape for a long time. The problem is that sealant naturally wears off over time, so it's really important to keep refinishing and resealing as often as needed. It also really helps to use green-treated wood that is infused with chemicals to make it more moisture resistant.
Found a Patch of Decayed Timber? Rely On Your Local Handyman for Wood Rot Repair
Whether you're in Denton, TX, or another part of the area, such as Highland Village, Argyle, or Ponder, you can get the same level of top-quality workmanship and outstanding customer service from the team of professionals at Mr. Handyman of Flower Mound, Lewisville, and Denton.
Book a service request for an appointment time that's convenient to you by giving us a call today at972-627-4793 , or chat with our knowledgeable customer service representatives to find out more about what we can do to enhance your property in Denton by making it more comfortable, livable and appealing for you and your family.