When wooden surfaces are exposed to water or moisture, they start to rot and decay. This can be an aesthetic problem at first, but it can also be much more since rotten wood can cause bad smells and even compromise your home’s structural stability.
The best way to avoid this type of problem is to make sure that moisture doesn’t enter your home and that your foundation is properly waterproofed. This may require some work and maintenance but it’s a less expensive option in comparison to fixing the damage the water has made.
What to Look For
There are a few places in your home you should regularly check for signs of rot.
If a home has wood siding, you should look at the siding around and beneath the window. If there’s a humidity problem, the wood siding will appear to be swollen and darker in color. Use the tip of the screwdriver to remove the paint from the top of the wood siding. If the screwdriver sinks into the wood, it means that it has become rotten and soft.
Checking the Attic
Attics are often humid and dark and it may take some time and effort to notice rot problems in them. It’s best to inspect the attic every now and then, especially if you’ve had a humidity problem recently in your home. Use a strong flashlight to examine the wood in the attic and pay attention to any discoloration. It shows that the wood has started to rot. The joints where the wood connects to the roof are usually the first part of the attic that begins to rot.
Walls and floors beneath and under sinks, tubs, and showers need to be examined with care. These are often humid places since they are near water and they are prone to wood rot more than any other part of the home. It’s important to examine them more often and to replace the wood when you notice rotting parts. Pay attention to changes in color as well as mold presence since mold will reveal moist places.
Preventing Future Problems Regarding Wood Rot
Here are several steps you can take to prevent wood rot in your home:
Fill in the Cracks
Sometimes water finds its way into the home through the cracks in foundation walls. Although these may seem small and insignificant, they are large enough to let the water through, especially during heavy rainfall. Since water can leak through the cracks and flood your foundation, thus increasing humidity levels and leading to wood rot, it is important to seal those cracks as soon as possible.
Inspect Your Roof
If you find stains under eaves and fireplaces, you may have a leaky roof. This is a serious problem and it needs to be addressed as soon as you notice these stains. It’s best to hire a professional roofer who will find the location of the leaks and repair your roof.
It’s also useful to inspect the roof every now and then instead of waiting for the stains to appear. Check your roof after heavy rainfall to see whether your roof is in a good condition.
Fix Sagging and Leaking Gutters
Your roof’s wooden structure can be damaged when it’s exposed to a lot of rainfall. Gutters play an essential role in draining the water collected during heavy rains. When you notice that your gutters are leaking or sagging, it’s best to repair them before the water damages the wooden structure of the roof.
Inspect the gutters regularly and especially after heavy rain. Installing gutter guards can also help since it will prevent clogs and overflows.
Keep the Shrubbery Neat
Tree branches and shrubbery that are too close to the gutters and the side of the home need to be trimmed and maintained so that they cannot cause damage or clog the drainage system. In areas such as Cincinnati, OH, where there’s a lot of rainfall, it is important to take all the necessary steps to avert clogs.
It’s best to trim the shrubbery so that it’s three feet away from the home.
Install a Dehumidifier
If your rooms are prone to humidity issues, consider installing a dehumidifier in critical areas of your home such as the basement or crawl space. Keep in mind that the one placed in your crawl space should be stronger than others since it has a bigger surface to dry out and is dealing with a higher moisture level. The best option is to call your local experts and ask for a recommendation.
Repairing Rotten Wood
Rotten wood is unappealing, unsafe, and unhealthy to keep around. However, that doesn’t mean you need to throw it away as soon as you notice it. There are ways to repair rotten wood and make it functional once again.
If there are changes in color but the wood passes the screwdriver test, it means it can still be repaired simply by repainting it. The wood needs to be dried out first, by using a dehumidifier. Once the wood is dry it can be treated with wood preservatives that consist of copper or borate. If the rot problem has already escalated, it is best to replace the diseased wood before the rot gets a chance to spread.
Wood rot is a big problem for modern homes and it can cause structural issues if it’s not treated in time. Contact Ohio Basement Authority and schedule a free inspection and repair estimate. Our experts will inspect your home and get to the root of your humidity problem before it’s too late.