Does Your Home Need Any of These Wood Rot Repairs

wood rot is a common home repair

Everyone knows we’re getting lots more rain and snow than normal. Hopefully your house is watertight and none of the water has gotten inside your home. Because when water gets inside a house and doesn’t have a way to escape, you’re likely to get wood rot and that’s never good.

The worst part about wood rot is that it gets worse, year after year, so the sooner you find and make needed repairs, the less costly it will be.

So first you might want to understand how this happens. Wood rot is caused by wood destroying fungi that break down the wood cells which are its food source, and that’s what causes wood rot or decay. In order to repair wood rot, you must remove the fungi causing the damage, by replacing the wood that’s affected. Damage will continue until the fungi is gone and the source of the moisture is eliminated.

How to Look for Wood Rot On Your Home’s Exterior

wood rot repairs requiring a new windowWe live inside our home and don’t always realize how much weather your home’s exterior is exposed to year round.  And many homeowners don’t realize that paint’s first job is to protect wood from water damage, and then to make your home look appealing.

So where do you find wood on the exterior of a house, and which wood is most vulnerable to wood rot. The wood trim that bumps out from your home is exposed to more weather, and therefore more vulnerable to wood rot. If you allow paint to peel and crack, water will find its way into the wood and wood eating fungi and carpenter ants will have a feast.

So here are the places you should inspect for possible wood rot.

  • Wood trim just below the roof line, both the vertical fascia boards and the horizontal soffits.
  • On the gable ends of a house, you find wood trim and gable vents.
  • Corner boards that bump out from the house are a common home repair.
  • Window trim and especially window sills are the #1 wood rot problem seen by handyman businesses.
  • Wood trim around doors, and the door itself is another place where we see lots of wood rot.

Handyman tip: Remember when painting exterior doors, that they have 6 sides!

  • Vertical board just below exterior doors rot because rain hits the step and splashes back up.
  • Columns and other decorative trim around your home.
  • Decks attached to a house using a ledger board, are another common home repair that’s very stressful for homeowners and your handyman. That’s because do-it-yourselfers who install their own decks, don’t understand how critical flashing is to keep water away from the house.

painting will prevent wood rot & unnecessary home repair jobs

How to Repair Wood Rot Damage

We don’t want to scare you, or maybe we do? We want you to understand where potential wood rot problems occur, and how you can prevent them … and make repairs as soon as you realize you have a problem. There are many ways to repair wood rot so here are tips for making key decisions, e.g. to do repairs yourself or hire a professional with lots of experience.

  • a good home repair needs the right tools & materialsDo you have the right tools and experience to do the job?
  • Can you reach the area to be repaired from the ground, or does the work need to be done from a ladder?
  • What’s the potential impact to the structural integrity of a window, door or a load bearing wall that supports the weight of your house?

These repairs are serious, and unless you’re committed to doing the research so you can do it right, you are going to be better off hiring an experienced handyman.

Although there are lots of great videos on YouTube, it’s hard for the average homeowner to know which ones to trust or how to use the recommended tools. For example, so you know (own) what a sawzall is, or what window sill nosing looks like, to buy a replacement window sill?

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About Dennis Turmel

Dennis Turmel has maintained buildings for many years, with 20+ years at the Eagle Tribune and of course, his own homes. He enjoys working with homeowners to solve problems, or even more fun, update their homes so they'll enjoy them more. Dennis pefers helping home owners with routine home maintenance, to minimize costly repairs and of course, there's less stress.

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