Wood rot isn’t just an eyesore; it’s also a clear indicator of multiple health and safety risks. If your wooden fixtures are beginning to rot inside or outside your home or commercial space, you must take action to repair and replace the affected areas. Otherwise, you’re putting yourself and others in harm’s way. Let’s go over four of the major health and safety risks caused by or associated with rotting wood, and how the professional painters at All American Painting Plus can help.

1. Respiratory Concerns

While rotted wood is not the cause of respiratory problems, it indicates an excessive amount of moisture in the air, as well as the growth of potentially harmful fungi such as black mold. In these damp conditions, mold can spread rapidly, releasing spores in the air that, when inhaled, can lead to coughing, sneezing, lung inflammation, and other breathing difficulties.

2. Irritation and Rashes

If mold is indeed the culprit behind your wood rot, it can also lead to other health issues, such as skin rashes, eye irritation, headaches, and exhaustion. Once again, the rotting wood does not directly cause these issues. The fungi that causes the rot is a result of warm, damp conditions which are the true menace. Still, when you locate wood rot, there is a good chance that your health will be negatively affected near these areas.

3. Gaps, Cracks, and Open Spaces

Wood rot can also leave your home’s or building’s interior exposed to external factors such as insects, mice and other pests, bacteria, and more. Some of these unwanted visitors can carry various diseases. It’s crucial that your interior is well sealed from these forces, especially around windows, doors, seams, and other potential entry points.

4. Structural Weakness

By and large, the most dangerous safety risk posed by rotting wood is structural degradation. When maintained properly, wood is durable, flexible, and strong, making it a common and viable construction material. Many homes and buildings use wooden building materials as supporting features. Additionally, many decks, patios, and balconies are constructed from various types of wood.

If these wooden features begin to rot, however, they become softer and weaker, making them less able to remain stable against weight and pressure. Eventually, the wood foundation might break down completely, taking the whole structure down with it. This can severely harm anyone on top of or underneath the structure at the time of collapse.

How Can You Prevent Rotting Wood?

By preventing wood rot from taking hold, you can greatly reduce the health and safety risks listed above. There a number of measures you can take to prevent moisture from entering your building, such as keeping gutters clear and clean, placing dehumidifiers in basements and attics, investing in better insulation, and improving overall ventilation.

You should also protect your wooden features from rot directly. Make sure you clean your wooden surfaces on a regular basis. Paint, stain, and/or seal your wooden features to prevent moisture from getting into the wood’s pores. If you’re not sure what type of paint or stain to use, hire a residential painting or commercial painting service to help. 

Pay special attention to your exterior wooden features, as these are more exposed to moisture from rain, snow, and vapor. And before you begin exterior painting, make sure to pressure wash all wooden surfaces.

If you want more advice on keeping wood rot at bay, or you need experts to repair or replace your rotted wood, All American Painting Plus has you covered. Unlike many other painting services, we offer additional home improvement and repair services to protect and elevate your property. To learn more about all that we can do for our clients in Northern Virginia, give us a call at (703)-620-5563!