How to Check for Wood Rot in your Home

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We know you’re busy and sometimes it can seem as if there are a million and one little jobs to do around the home. However, while it’s one thing to think “I’ll get around to clearing out the basement next month” or “I really must spray some WD40 on that squeaky gate hinge this weekend”, one thing you really should not be putting off is checking for wood rot. Left unchecked, rotten wood can cause untold damage to your home and, it goes without saying, to your bank balance too.

So what are the rules when it comes to checking for dry wood rot in your home? How often should you be conducting spot checks and, crucially, where should you be looking for the tell-tale signs that you have a problem? After all, dry rot isn’t as immediately noticeable as loose roof tiles or peeling paintwork – and that’s exactly what makes it such a nightmare, especially if you’ve let it get out of control.

What causes wood rot?

In a word: moisture. If there is any point in or around your home where wood and damp meet, you need to be on red alert and check regularly for rot. Dry rot (Serpula lacrymans) is a type of fungus that thrives in damp environments, using moisture to slowly erode wooden timbers, frames and structures.

Where might wood rot be hiding in my home?

There are a number of places where dry wood rot is prone to lurk and you should get into the habit of regularly checking the following:

  • Window frames and sills
  • Exterior door frames, bases and vertical boards
  • Window, door and corner trims
  • Behind guttering and downspouts
  • Decking

How often should I be checking my home for wood rot?

You really need to be checking wooden windows, doors, exteriors, gutters and decks every two or three months. Stay on top of wood rot and you stay one step ahead of having to deal with a potentially budget-busting repair job.

How do I know if I have wood rot?

There are two main varieties of wood rot to look out for. Brown rot (also known as dry rot) is dry and either crumbling with a powder-like consistency, or with the appearance of being split into cubes across the wood’s grain. White rot (which may be white or yellow in color) is softer to the touch and almost sponge like.

I have wood rot. What should I do?

Taking action is paramount; this really is one area of home improvement that you cannot afford to ignore. Rotten wood is not something that will go away of its own accord; in fact it will only get worse – far worse. Never mind the expense of having to replace your front door or window frames, imagine the injuries – or worse – that a rotting deck could inflict.

Wood rot, if left untreated, can cause widespread structural damage to your home so, even if you’re not 100% sure whether what you’re seeing really is wood rot, you should call for a second opinion, – preferably from a professional like Sharper Impressions Painting.

Our team will carry out a survey that will identify areas of wood rot (if any), assess the level of damage and make recommendations for repair or replacement. Don’t let wood rot get your home in its grip, check now before it’s too late.