No one wants to encounter rotting wood in or outside their home. Unfortunately, even if you’re on top of your home maintenance, wood rot is quite common, especially in humid climates where fungi can thrive. If and when you do find rotting wood in your home, you might not know what to do about it. Let’s go over some of the steps you should take when you come across rotting wood.

Perform a Thorough Inspection

Once you’ve spotted any degree of wood rot, you need to check the nearby areas as well. After all, if there’s one instance of rotting wood, there are likely more occurrences elsewhere. Look for signs of rot, like discoloration, peeling paint, and swelling. Then, take a screwdriver and try to insert it into the wood. If it goes through, then you know there’s rot.

Don’t limit your inspection to the initial rotted area. While you’re at it, check other damp areas of your home that are prime for wood rot, like your basement, bathroom(s), and attic. If you’re going to repair or replace these rotted areas, it’s best to get it all done at once.

Don’t Wait – Act!

Now that you know there’s rotting wood in your home and where it’s located, it’s time to take action. This is no time to procrastinate, as wood rot can have severe health and safety implications. For one thing, it may indicate poor air quality in your home. Additionally, when wood rots, it gradually softens and loses its structural integrity. If left unchecked, these wooden features can completely buckle and break, posing a major risk to your safety.

So, the question isn’t whether you should act immediately, but rather, what actions should you take? There are a few ways to handle wood rot. First, consider how severe and widespread the rot is. If the rot is isolated and the affected wood isn’t structurally relevant, you can typically treat the area with a fungicide to stop the rot from spreading, and then fill any holes for stabilization. Or, you can remove only the problematic area and replace it with a new piece of wood that’s properly cut.

When wood rot has taken over all or most of a wooden feature, that piece of wood must be replaced entirely. You can find the same type of wood and use it as your replacement material, or you can go with an alternative like PVC which looks like wood but won’t run the risk of rotting in the future. Whether you repair or replace your rotted wood, the key point is that you get it done quickly to keep your home safe and structurally sound.

Take Preventative Measures

After you’ve gotten rid of all the rot and made your repairs and replacements, your next concern should be preventing this problem from happening again. Prevention is indeed the best way to take care of wood rot, and there are many ways to go about it.

For example, you can clean your exterior and interior wooden features on a regular basis to remove any potential growing fungi. Additionally, it’s a good idea to hire home painters to paint, stain, and/or seal your wood (especially outside your home) to prevent moisture from entering the wood’s pores. These residential painting pros may also be able to caulk your trim, windows, doors, and other gaps to keep the humid air and water out.

In addition to these preventative measures, you can also invest in dehumidifiers for your basement, attic, and other damp areas of your home. Be sure to have your vents cleaned regularly to maintain proper airflow in your home as well.

Get an Expert Opinion

In all fairness, taking care of wood rot can be a daunting task. This is why it’s a good move to call experienced professionals at the first sign of rotted wood. The professional painters at All American Painting Plus, for instance, can help identify the type of rot you have, propose solutions for repair or replacement, and take care of the problem. Then, our team can perform interior or exterior painting to help prevent rot from ever coming back.

In other words, our business goes above and beyond what standard painting services offer. To learn more about all that we can do for our clients in Northern Virginia, give us a call at (703)-620-5563!