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What is it

Wood rot. The name says it all. And if you own a home, you have the potential of dealing with this as it can happen to any wood. The effects of wood rot can be major; the structural integrity of a building can be jeopardized.  We will give you a little background information so you can learn about what you may be dealing with.

Wood plus moisture. All wood holds some moisture but if the moisture content gets too high this becomes an invitation for fungi to breed. Fungi are the culprits in causing wood rot to occur. They are no fun-guys. But fungi need some other favorable conditions to grow:


  • Oxygen
  • Temperatures  between 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Food – Carbohydrates in the form o of cellulose and lignin which is found in wood

Types

One type of wood rot results in the wood having a brown discoloration and the wood itself clumps off into different-sized pieces or cubes. Softwoods are most often the victim of this type which is appropriately called brown cubical rot. 

Another type is white or yellow and   with this the decayed wood appears stringy or spongy. This called white rot and most often affects hardwoods.

The third type is called soft rot. You don’t often find this kind inside; it usually is found in wood shingles in wet climates

Where it is

Of  course, you’re going to find it where there’s wood, but here are some of the most common places wood rot occurs in and around the home:
  • Floors: The cause is usually from another problem you may be experiencing; leaky pipes, issues with an appliance. So this may require fixing the wood rot as well as the source of the problem
  • Attic and roof space: Often, the situation is that the area that has been affected may not even be close to the leak itself. Water will travel through the roof to a point of collection and then result in wood rot. Also, be aware that if you find a problem on the underside of the roof there’s probably a problem on the exterior as well.
  • Windows and doors: This is an ideal spot for wood rot because moisture and heat  will be affecting these on a continual basis
  • Decks and porches: This is a prime target for wood rot especially on the underside where it attaches to the house.
  • Kitchens and bathrooms: Moisture can build up easily in these rooms so it’s important to have fans and use them to keep the rooms’ humidity levels down.
  • Basements and crawl spaces:  Ground moisture plus moisture in the air can make these areas ideal for fungal growth.

Prevention

Obviously, you can’t control the oxygen or the composition of the wood, and temperature isn’t easily controllable, but you can take some preventative measures with the moisture. Things like faulty plumbing and rain leaks are prime causes. And the damage can occur in anything with wood: eaves, exterior and door trim, window casings, garage doors, and more. 

  1. Make sure the area is well ventilated.
  2. Consider installing a vapor barrier.
  3. Place untreated wood at least 18 inches above the ground.
  4. Make sure soil drainage system is working properly
  5. Consider using a dehumidifier.
  6. Properly flash and seal doors and windows.

Repairing areas affected by wood rot

Once you’ve discovered wood rot in your home or other structure, the affected area will need to  be repaired to prevent it from spreading. That is where we at Handyman Solutions come in. Basically, this is what we’ll do:
  • First of all, we will find where the moisture is coming from that is causing the problem.
  • Second, the wood that has been affected will be removed and replaced with new wood.  There are some instances when the affected wood can just be chiseled away.
  • The wood that is already there and the new wood will then be treated with a compound to prevent wood rot from reoccurring.