DON’T CONFUSE WOOD ROT WITH TERMITE DAMAGE
Termites leave visible evidence of their existence, damaging wood as they tunnel through and leaving sawdust in their wake. Wood rot, on the other hand, comes from over-exposure to moisture and can take on a couple of appearances. One common type can look white and yellow with a stringy or spongy appearance. Another form is sometimes called “Brown Cubical Rot” because of its brownish color and its tendency to break into cubes.
WOOD ROT AND ASSOCIATED ISSUES ARE TREATABLE
Left untreated, moisture issues can lead to mold and even health concerns for you and your family. The good news is that moisture sources can be eliminated, rotted wood repaired or replaced, and mold removed by contractors who specialize in this type of work.
ELIMINATE WOOD ROT AT ITS SOURCE
Once a problem is identified, the most crucial step is to eliminate the moisture source. Some of the most common causes of moisture include improper basement or crawlspace ventilation, faulty gutters, plumbing issues, roof leaks, drainage problems, and foundation breaches.
PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE WILL MINIMIZE MOISTURE RELATED PROBLEMS
There are many routine measures for preventing wood rot and moisture damage in your home:
• Check your basement or crawlspace. Poor ventilation, structural issues, or plumbing leaks can all result in moisture accumulation, resulting in wood rot and/or mold.
• Pressure wash your home annually, repairing damaged wood and applying touch-up paint and caulk to secure paint integrity and prevent further rotting.
• Also apply caulk around your windows and doors to prevent water from entering and causing wood rot and/or damaging other items in your home.
• Keep gutters clear of debris and working properly to carry water away from your home. A poorly-maintained gutter system will drop water near your home’s foundation, allowing moisture into your basement or crawlspace, or leading to land erosion and foundation issues.
• Inspect your attic and roof for possible leaks and/or water damage. A home’s roof is its most critical barrier to inclement weather; Roof failure will lead to a host of issues including water damage, wood rot, and mold development.
• Repair or replace caulking around your tub, and make sure that tile grout is not broken down and continues to provide a strong moisture barrier.
• When taking a shower, use your ventilation system to remove steam from your bathroom.
• Check pipes under sinks, in basements and crawlspaces, and in other areas around your home. Even small plumbing leaks can result in wood rot, mold, and pest related issues.
BUYER BEWARE WHEN HIRING A CONTRACTOR
Be cautious when selecting a wood rot contractor. There are many companies that will use scare tactics, especially when mold and health issues are potentially involved. Be sure to thoroughly check out your contractor, particularly if you go outside of the recommendations listed above.
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