Do I Have Wood Rot On My Siding? What to Do

woodwork refinishing

Given the right condition and enough time, wood rot can destroy your building material and land you into thousands of dollars in repair costs. Oftentimes, your house may show obvious signs of the need to repair. For example, if your gutter breaks down during a rainy season, it’s quite clear that you need to spring into action.

Unlike major water leakages, however, wood rot may easily go unnoticed, unless you understand specifically what and where to look. Unfortunately, like mold at the corner of your damp basement, wood rot can quickly spread and widely compromise the wooden materials in your home.

Because it spreads quite first and can cause extensive, costly damages, it’s important to identify and eliminate wood rot as soon as possible. Ultimately, wood rot can potentially compromise the structural integrity of your home, especially if your siding is made predominantly of wooden material.

Causes of Wood Rot

It’s important to understand what causes wood rot so that you can identify and eliminate it, and take important steps to prevent future recurrence. I want you to take a moment and study the following complex equation.

Wood + Water = Decay (rot)

Got it? Good. The above equation is a simple summary of what causes wood rot. Essentially, lingering moisture in wood creates an environment conducive to fungi growth, which in turn causes the wood’s fibers to deteriorate. So when water comes in contact with an unprotected wood surface for long enough, the wood begins to rot.

The moisture allows the fungi to grow and eventually cause rot. Whether it’s a progressive accumulation of moisture from rain or a major leakage via the ceiling, wood rot can potentially cause massive destruction. Areas where water collect are the most vulnerable spots.

It’s important, however, to note that there is a difference between decay or rot and mold/mildew. Mold typically grows on the surface of the wood and can usually be cleaned off using specific detergents and methods. Rot, on the other hand, grows within the wood, which often causes loss of strength and structural integrity.

Checking If You Have Wood Rot

So, how do you know if you have rot and where do you check? Well, while the rot you are looking for may be easily visible, in plain sight, quite often it will be hidden. The most common wood rot generally makes the wood soft, so using a screwdriver, you can probe for soft sections in various components of your wood. Be alert for any sign of soft, brittle, or crumbly wood.

Discoloration, peeling paint that feels damp, cracks in the paint or sealant are also signs of wood rot. Some of the most vulnerable areas to look for rot include window sills and frames, exterior doors, wooden decks, below the roofline and wooden sidings. Check also the floor areas around your water heater, washer, dishwasher, toilet, tub, and the bottom of your sink cabinets.

I See Wood Rot, What Next!?

Well, first, don’t panic, and secondly, don’t try to repair the damage by yourself because things could potentially crumble and escalate the problem. The best thing to do after you’ve identified wood rot is to call a handyman for further inspection and repair.

The contractor would typically replace the rotted wood with new wood and treat the surrounding remaining planks or sections of the wood. They will then properly dispose of the damaged wood and either paint, seal, or stain the newly installed wood to make it water-resistant.

If you need any professional help repainting your kitchen cabinet and other wooden surfaces to protect them against wood rot, our team can help. To get started, simply book a free estimate below or call us today on 402-932-9764 for more details.