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How to Spot Wood Rot

A fresh coat of paint simply goes to waste if it doesn’t have a proper canvas.  If you’re looking to paint over wood, it’s important to know that over time, wood will decay due to natural wear and tear unless it’s treated.

If it’s well maintained, wood can withstand countless coats of paint. There are two types of wood rot to be aware of—wet and dry. Before Woodstock house painters come out for your next painting project, read these tips for how to spot wood rot.

Dry Rot

Dry rot, also known as a “building cancer”, destroys all wood in its path. This fungus thrives in moist environments that are unventilated. This unique environment is perfect for damages in areas like door frames and wood flooring. If the wood on a home’s porch is dry rotted, it’s very unsafe for guests to walk over. To avoid these problems, look out for these signs.

Upon initial contact with wood, the fungus will be off-white in color and feel fuzzy like wool. As the sunlight hits it, the color changes to be more yellow. Over time, it will develop into thick fungal strands the size of your finger. Severely damaged lumber can crumble in the palm of your hand. The fragility is due to the deep cracks running across the grain left by the fungus.

To treat dry rot, you have several options. You can simply remove and replace the affected wood or use chemical treatments on the surface.

Wet Rot

Wet rot is exactly as it sounds. The wood decays because it is constantly around high levels of moisture.  This usually occurs because of a structural defect. For example, if a wall nearby is suffering from water damage, it can create problems to the materials next to it.

When you treat the wood, you also need to treat the structural damage, or this problem will continue to occur. If you notice any damp walls, be sure to address the problem immediately.

Even though the wall may look like nothing is wrong with it, the wood underneath may be rotting. If it is suffering from wet rot, then it will feel spongy and look darker than the wood around it. Once the surface is dry, it will crack and crumble into small pieces.

Your best prevention method is to check vulnerable areas of wood for rot, like window and door frames. Your roof is especially at risk for damage, as rainwater runs down onto roof planks. Make sure that all external wood is adequately painted to protect from any moisture that can lead to mold growth.

Keep an eye on your roof for any holes. Wet rot is common in areas where a small leak from a drain can go unnoticed. Check in places like underneath sinks, behind the washing machine, and around the shower.

If you notice wood rot, wet or dry, around your home, it is best to have the problem evaluated by a professional. J. Stevens Painting provides goes beyond eliminating decaying and warped wood. We use rot-free PVC and MiraTec products when available, and Cement Board siding for siding replacement. We also take the time to properly seal joints and smooth surfaces to prevent future deterioration.

Give us a call at 770-365-6889, and we’ll suggest the correct treatment plan to protect your home from unwanted damages.

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