WHAT IS WOOD ROT & WHAT CAUSES IT?
Wood rot is a type of decay caused by wood-eating fungi. The wood eaters attack the cellulose or lignin of the timber, which causes the wood to soften, weaken, and crumble. When supporting beams rot, significant structural damage can occur in your home. In order to begin rotting, timber must be exposed to the right conditions for fungi growth. Ideal conditions for fungi growth include oxygen, warmth, and a moisture content of at least 20% in the lumber. Timber that is often soaked with water is more prone to decay compared to dry wood, which can sometimes last hundreds of years.
COMMON LOCATIONS OF WOOD ROT
Excess moisture is the most significant factor in fungi growth, and decay can be found wherever your lumber is exposed to water. While exterior wood is more susceptible to rot, timber inside homes can also be impacted if exposed to leaks, water vapor, or excess water from the careless use of water fixtures. Common locations of wood rot include:
- Wood siding
- Window frames and sills
- Entryways over doors
- Fascia boards and timber soffit
- Exterior doors
- Floors in mud rooms
- Outdoor decking material on decks and porches
- Poorly ventilated bathrooms
- Sheds, Gazebos, playhouses, and other outdoor structures
- Leaks around water supply lines
- Crawl spaces
- Water leaks under sinks and other water fixtures
SIGNS YOUR HOME NEEDS WOOT ROT REPAIR
Sometimes rotting wood is obvious, but there are also several more subtle signs of the early stages of wood rot. Knowing what to watch out for can help you catch damage before it gets too severe. Check out the following common symptoms of wood rot:
- Changing textures where timber may appear stringy, spongy, or webbed with cracks.
- Patches of discolored wood appearing darker or lighter than the surrounding material or those that have a white, yellow, or purple hue.
- Timber that breaks into cube-shaped chunks or crumbles into sawdust.
- Mushrooms can sprout from decayed areas in very advanced cases of wood rot.
HOW TO CHECK FOR WOOD ROT
Now that you know some common locations for wood rot and signs that your home may have it, it’s time to learn how to check for rotted wood. Get your flashlight and screwdriver so you can check your timber. If you see a suspicious patch of wood, press your screwdriver against it. If the screwdriver sinks in with little to no resistance, you found wood rot. Be sure you check areas that are hard to reach, including your attic and crawl space. If you aren’t up to the task of crawling and climbing around your entire property, don’t worry. The professionals at Mr. Handyman of Wheaton-Hinsdale perform thorough wood rot investigations and can treat any wood rot we find at your home.
OUR WOOD ROT REPAIR PROCESS
Once we detect wood rot, we use a proven treatment method. Our team will remove the rotten wood and replace it with high-quality materials such as pressure-treated lumber. Our professionals will then paint or stain your new lumber, so you don’t notice the repair. We will apply sealant to help your timber resist moisture. When it comes to minor wood rot, we can perform spot repairs using epoxy consolidant. Our professionals will carefully scrape out the wood rot and fill it in using epoxy wood filler spread with a clean putty knife. We can then smooth the timber and paint over it.
HOW TO PREVENT WOOD ROT
The best way to prevent wood rot is never to allow your timber to get wet, but that is virtually impossible. The following are more practical ways to help you reduce your risks of wood rot:
- Stain or paint any outdoor lumber and coat each side of it with sealant.
- Clean and repair your rain gutters every six months, so they don’t overflow and cause water to spill down onto your home’s exterior.
- Trim back your trees and bushes with leaves that contain moisture so they will not brush up against your timber.
- Make sure your restrooms have proper ventilation, and always run the bathroom fan while using the shower or bath.
SCHEDULE WOOD ROT REPAIR SERVICE TODAY
Mr. Handyman of Wheaton-Hinsdale is here to help you treat or remove dry rot wood if you live in the Wheaton or Hinsdale areas. You can count on our licensed and insured team, and we stand behind the Neighborly Done Right Promise®. Contact us today to request service.