Wood degradation comes in many forms, each with its distinct appearance and cause. Some pests, such as termites, carpenter ants, or powder post beetles, leave their mark with tunnels and sawdust scattered about.
But another, more silent attacker sneaks in, slowly sapping the strength from the wooden structure – this is the fungus known as rot.
Rot takes hold through repeated exposure to moisture, leaving its mark with a yellow-and-white sponginess, a stringy texture, or a crumbly brown hue that disintegrates into cubes. The fungus creeps in, weakening the fibers of the wood, making it a prime target for other wood-eating insects.
The rot creeps in, silently destroying it until a keen eye discovers it. Common hotspots for this sneaky attacker include window sills, deck posts, and other areas that receive prolonged exposure to moisture.
If left unaddressed, the rot will only continue its silent rampage, leaving the once strong structure weakened and vulnerable.
So heed this warning before it’s too late – inspect your wooden structures regularly, and address any signs of rot before it has a chance to take hold. The future of your structure depends on it.
Windows & Doors
Windows and doors, while providing access to the outdoors, can also become susceptible to rot if not properly protected. Moisture and heat, like stealthy intruders, can sneak in and damage the wooden frames.
To prevent this, properly flash the openings, seal any seams with a suitable caulk, and coat all exposed wood with primer and paint or a wood sealant.
Decks & Porches
Decks and porches, essential for outdoor living, can also become weakened by rot if proper measures are not taken.
Improper flashing on decks and porches is a common mistake that can lead to rot in the structural framing of wood.
To avoid rot in porch columns, protect them with primer and paint. The undersides of decks, being close to ground moisture and shade, and exposed to the elements, are also prone to rot.
Floors, serving as a stable base for us, can also become damaged by moisture. Leaks from plumbing pipes, appliances, damp basements, and crawl spaces can cause rot in the wood floors and subfloors.
Ground moisture, poor ventilation, proximity to dirt, poor landscape grading, and overgrown shrubs can all contribute to rot from beneath the floor.
Roof & Attic Area
The roof and attic, offering protection overhead, can also become the source of damage. Roof leaks can cause water damage and rot in the roof and attic.
Water can travel along the roof framing and sheathing, leading to pooling in the attic, even if the source of the leak is far away.
Be vigilant for signs of water running down rafters or dripping from the roof, as water damage in the attic often indicates exterior wood rot.
The junction of the roof and dormers is another high-risk area for rot due to improper or inadequate flashing.
Fence posts, serving as borders for our property, can also become vulnerable to rot. Ground moisture can cause rot and decay in fence posts if not installed properly.
Soffits & Fascia
Soffits and fascia, the final touch to a roofline, can also damage.
The fascia, the vertical trim below the roof line, and the soffit, the horizontal wood connected to it, can become susceptible to water damage and rot if gutters become clogged with leaves and limbs, trapping water instead of allowing it to run off.