Even the sturdiest of homes can be susceptible to rotting wood. Rot can happen at any time; however, if it’s caught and corrected early enough, it can be rather inexpensive to repair. Inspect the wooden areas of your home, including the flashing around patio doors, entry doors and windows, roof, bathrooms, kitchens and more, regularly to ensure that you’re not leaving your home vulnerable to this common problem.
What Causes Wooden Surfaces To Rot?
Quite simply, rotting wooden surfaces are caused by a combination of moisture and warmth. Moisture and fungus spores are found naturally in the air and these typically aren’t major concerns. However when the percentage of water in the air increases, the fungus spores will grow dramatically and can start to break down the wood fibers. If the spores simply brush off the wooden surfaces, they’re unlikely to cause any structural damage (but it’s a good idea to remove them anyway!).
Doors, Windows And Roofs: Common Problem Areas
Common outdoor problem areas include entry doors, patio doors, decks and windows. If you’re looking for potential issues, pay special attention to the joints because these areas are particularly slow to dry out after a heavy rain or especially humid day. There are other areas beside patio doors, entry doors, decks and windows, however. The most common places to look for rotting wooden surfaces in your home include the attic and roof space, floors, kitchens, bathrooms, basements and crawl spaces.
If you’ve noticed wet spots on your ceiling, it’s important to get into your attic and look for water damage. Oftentimes, once the water has reached the ceiling, it’s caused big problems to your roof and attic space, which means you could have hidden rotting areas in your attic. Also look for weak or creaky spots in your floorboards and mold or moisture stains in your kitchen and bathrooms because this is typically a sign of a leaking pipe lurking somewhere in your home.
Fixing The Problem
Luckily for homeowners, fixing the problem of wood rot is typically inexpensive. If you’re able to catch the problem early, you can usually use a wood filler to build up or fill the hole using a putty knife. Once it’s dry, sand it with sandpaper and repeat the filler step if you notice any other vulnerable spots. Sand again and then prime and paint so it matches the rest of the surface. If the problem is inside, make sure to take the steps to repair the cause of the damage. Fixing the wooden surfaces won’t do you any good if you have a continuous leak. Lastly, if any of the damage appears to be structural, contact a structural engineer to make sure that your home is safe and secure for your family.
It’s not a bad idea to add an annual or biannual inspection of any wooden surfaces to your regular home maintenance routine. Treat surfaces with a wood preservative before priming and painting and take the time to caulk any cracks to ensure that wood rot won’t grow into a big problem for your home.
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