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How to Minimize the Expense and Hassle of Rot Repair

August 12, 2015 / Tips

It is important to act fast on any sign of wood decay, damage or water intrusion to reduce the expense and hassle of wood rot repair. Wood rot is not one of those home repairs you can put off. The cost of resulting damage increases significantly with time.

Rot organisms can be active in any wood with a moisture content of over 19%. Any wood still feels dry even up to a moisture content of 30%. This is where the term “dry rot” originates.

Victoria’s climate is ideal for rot organisms. The rot organisms thrive in damp conditions above freezing. This describes Victoria 10 months out of the year.

Here are five things our Red Seal Journeyman Carpenter recommends to help  protect your home from rot:

  1. Make sure the gutters and downspouts are clean and in good condition. The gutter should be cleaned of debris such as leaves and pine needles. Downspouts should be firmly attached and leaks should be fixed as soon as you spot them.
  2. Keep the soil around your home at least 6 inches below the top of the foundation. Over time, gardening activities tend to raise the soil level around your home. Once the soil level is near or above the wood framing, water wicks into the framing leading to an expensive rot repair.
  3. Adjust sprinkler systems so they don’t spray on your home. Homes with automatic sprinkler systems are prone to rot. Poorly adjusted sprinklers spray onto the home keeping it damp and creating the ideal rot environment. The trouble is that the sprinklers are adjusted in the day time when water pressure is low. The sprinklers turn on during the early morning when the water pressure is much higher, thus changing the water spray pattern and wetting the house.
  4. Maintain the paints and stains on your home. Regularly inspect paints and stains, especially on decks, stairs and the weather side of the house. Touch up or repaint any areas of peeling, flaking or erosion. A very thin film of paint is often the only protection the wood has against water and moisture.
  5. Make sure your house perimeter drains are working well. Signs that the drainage lines are not doing their job are, a musty smell in the basement, white powdery staining on concrete foundations and flooring, and of course, visible water in your basement or crawlspace. A damp basement or crawl space can significantly increase the moisture level of your entire home and can be a major source of rot.

Are you worried about rot in your home? White Knight Painting can help. Not only will our Red Seal Journeyman Carpenter replace the rot, we’ll find the source of dampness so it doesn’t happen again.

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