Who doesn't love wood in their home? The color, texture, and homey-ness that wood can provide to a home is second to none. Wood provides a feeling of warmth and relaxation that no other material can provide.
However, those amazing benefits don't come without a cost.
The reality is that wood can be a fragile building material, and it requires a lot of care and attention to ensure it's in proper shape. The last thing you want to discover in your floors, moldings, or framing is wood rot.
It's essential that you spot and get rid of wood rot before it spreads throughout your home. How can you identify it, and what can you do if you find it? Read on, and we'll walk you through what you need to know.
Signs of Wood Rot in Your Home
How do you know if you have a wood rot problem? The first thing you'll want to look for is any signs of fungi and spores. Wood rot is actually just a common name for the kinds of fungi and spores that thrive on timber and wood.
The appearance of this mold might vary depending on your particular situation. Look close at the wood surfaces in your home and see if you can spot silky gray or mushroom layers around certain areas.
You might even see more colorful pops of yellow or purple if you look close. The fungi you see is a product of the growth, but removing it won't fix the source of the problem at hand.
Even if you don't visually see signs of fungi growth, it doesn't mean that wood rot is not occurring in your home. You'll also want to keep an eye out for cracking.
When wood rot is present, wood is forced to contract and shrink. Often, this results in cracks that appear throughout the structure of the wood. If you're looking for cracks, looking at areas that tend to support a lot of weight.
These areas will likely show more obvious cracks or signs of wear.
Last but not least, use your nose. When you have wood rot, some of the wood in your home's structures will actually be decaying. If that is occurring, you might be able to actually smell the decay itself.
If you enter a room and find a musty, strange odor? It might be an indication of wood rot.
Can You Repair Rotted Wood?
Wood that is damaged by rot is not salvageable. There is nothing you or anyone can do to repair the existing wood. Instead, it needs to be replaced. Ideally, this replacement should happen as soon as possible.
The longer you allow wood rot to exist, the higher risk there is of it spreading to other locations.
The only situation where you might be able to repair wood is if you've caught it incredibly early in the rotting process. If a damp piece of wood is at risk of rotting, you can prevent the rot from developing by drying it and applying some form of wood preservative.
You'll then want to monitor the wood closely and ensure that no signs of rot develop.
However, in many cases, replacement will be the only option. In this case, you may need to call in a professional to do the work. Depending on the extent of the damage, this can be a big job to tackle.
Prevent Future Rotting
Replacement of wood in your home can be expensive and time-consuming. If you want to save time and money, working to prevent future wood rot can be a much more efficient practice.
The main goal of most prevention practices will be limiting the amount of cold air and moisture in your home. The less your wood structures are exposed to these elements, the better for their long-term health.
You can invest in a crawl space vapor barrier, which will help to prevent moisture from entering from below your home. This is a common source of moisture that many homeowners forget to consider.
Investing in a good dehumidifier can also help suck the unwanted moisture out of your home. Keep this in a room that tends to collect moisture, such as the basement or attic.
Another great move is to ensure that you have exhaust fans installed in bathrooms and other places where humidity tends to build up. You won't want to let your steamy bathroom air stick around and ruin the wood.
An exhaust fan can make sure that humid, wet steam is swept away from vulnerable surfaces.
Last but not least, you might want to consider a good monthly cleaning of your gutters. Debris that piles up in one's gutters can prevent the proper and intended flow of water. It this occurs, water can build up and standstill.
Standing water in your gutters presents a huge threat. Water overflow can send water cascading down over your windows and walls. That's the last thing you want if you're trying to avoid wood rot from occurring!
Only with proper preventive measures can you truly prevent wood rot from occurring over the long run.
Avoiding the Dangers of Wood Rot
No one wants to discover wood rot in their home. However, without proper measures taken, wood rot can develop and cause destructive structural damage all too easily. The above information can help you identify and approach the problem of wood rot.
Need more advice and tips for the home? Keep scrolling our blog for more helpful information.