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CT Home Remodeling: How Do I Repair Wood Rot?

By Blue Corona Dev Jul 25, 2014

If you’ve been living in your home for a few years now, you may have noticed some deterioration of your siding. As soon as you spot damage to your siding, it’s important to act quickly in order to prevent the problem from worsening. Not to mention, if your siding is damaged, it will cause the exterior of your home to look tired and unattractive

If your home is built with wood, then you must periodically look out for signs of wood rot. Wood rot can contaminate structural beams, exterior trim, plumbing areas, windowsills, door thresholds, or any other spot where wood and water mix. Wood rot will spread to other areas if left untreated, possibly resulting in structural damage. To prevent serious damage to your house, inspect for wood rot at least once a year, especially if portions are frequently exposed to moisture. However, a walk-by inspection is not thorough enough; wood rot can also form beneath the outer layer of wood or underneath paint. You should probe wooden areas with your finger or a tool such as a screwdriver. Press on wood surfaces to check if they feel soft (or they may also crumble easily under the pressure).

What Causes Wood Rot?

  • Temperatures between 40’F and 100’F
  • A food source for fungi
  • At least 25% moisture
  • Oxygen

All of these areas are susceptible to water and weather damage. As exterior paint wears and weathers, small cracks may appear. Water can (and will) seep into the tiniest of these cracks. As the water sits on the wood surface it will not only saturate the wood, but also can also grow mold and attract insects to the softened wood. Wintertime makes the problem even worse. If water gets into small cracks in exterior wood surfaces and freezes, the expanding and contracting of freezing and thawing water can wreak havoc on the trim work.

Best Areas to Inspect

  • Areas exposed to frequent rain
  • Where wood may be in contact with the ground
  • Horizontal surfaces (window sills, railings, etc.)
  • Spots where seeping rain and splashing rain land
  • Areas susceptible to plumbing leaks

Generally, wood rots for one major reason: getting wet. You can prevent wood rot by protecting the wood surfaces of your house from water. If you can prevent wood rot from the start, you are less likely to require wood rot repairs.

How Can I Prevent Wood Rot?

  • Stain or paint all sides of a wood piece before constructing an exterior surface.
  • Add considerable roof overhangs to deflect rainwater.
  • Keep at least 12 inches between wood and soil.
  • Clean your gutters regularly to prevent clogs that cause water to back up and spill onto wood surfaces such as siding, porches, or railings.
  • Do not lean things such as ladders or shovels against the siding of your house.

Fiderio & Sons

The advice provided is only meant to serve as a general guideline. Discuss specific needs with your CT home remodeling contractor because the best solution varies with each home. Before every job we fully inspect all of the surfaces to ensure structural integrity. If any wood needs repair or replacing, our team of skilled carpenters will handle the work before painting, and you can expect nothing but the highest quality work.

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