Spending time in and around your house is bound to leave you with a mental to-do list.
One of the most common realizations is that maybe your house isn’t looking quite the color you remember it being when you bought it. Or maybe the 2005 grey you wanted so badly, is now looking a little bland against the blues and pinks of your neighbor. Whatever the reason, painting the exterior of your house can be overshadowed by one very big thing – wood rot.
Wood rot is a decomposition process which, while important in nature, can cause serious damage to your home. Unfortunately it doesn’t take much for wood rot to occur, simply warmth, water and wood. It’s any renovator’s worst nightmare to find patches of wood turning soft half-way through painting their exterior.
The likelihood is, your house will be made up largely of wood, which means if you find wood rot you need to address it as soon as possible. However, the urgency of the job at hand only increases the importance that it should be done properly. The best way to do this is to hire a reliable, professional service to ensure the wood rot doesn’t spread and the affected area is replaced.
Beat the decomposition by checking your home regularly and thoroughly for signs of wood rot. There’s no such thing as checking too often or too much, as the sooner you find it, the minimum amount of damage caused.
Wood rot is most prominent in areas of damp, which don’t dry out the way other areas of the house might. For this reason, the most common spots for wood rot are: windows, exterior doors, exterior decking, basements and damaged roofing.
However, don’t make the mistake of only checking these areas. As we’ve already mentioned, if you’re doing a big job such as painting the exterior, you need to examine the whole area to ensure the wood quality is unaffected before starting to paint.
One of the issues of wood rot, is that paint can hide it. For this reason, we suggest using a strong flashlight and a screw driver of some sort to poke into the wood during your check. If you’re concerned you may have missed any spots, expert guidance could save you thousands of pounds worth of property damage if the wood rot goes unprotected.
Use the screw drive method to check your wood quality. Shine a flashlight along the wood and check for any discoloration. This is the first sign you may have an issue, so gently poke the wood with the screwdriver to check its quality. Healthy wood will be strong and withhold, while a screwdriver sinking in indicates wood rot.
Another sign of potential wood rot are areas where mold is growing. In this instance, you may find you have to pull out a part of the wallboard to check on the wood underneath or behind.
Absolutely. The most important lesson to learn about wood rot, is that it’s far easier to prevent it than fix the damage it’s caused.
Seal any and all cracks of exterior doors and windows with caulk.
Use dehumidifiers and exhaust fans in rooms which steam up or are particularly humid, i.e. the bathroom and basement.
Repaint any cracks or peeling from old paint jobs, when done properly, a new exterior paint job should prevent wood rot.
Next time you’re thinking of updating your exterior paint project, save yourself time and money by checking for wood rot before you begin the process.