How to Prevent Wood Rot In Your Home

How to Prevent Wood Rot In Your Home

Small Projects and Repairs
By Alex Mikayelyan February 08, 2022

Wood is one of the most commonly used materials in construction. It is versatile, durable, sustainable, and can look very attractive used as a structural material as well as furniture. But despite wood being such a prominent material in construction for as long as the craft has been around, there is still the problem of wood rotting, which is impossible to prevent entirely, but there are some steps you can take which will slow down the process significantly.

As a homeowner, even if you’re not much of a carpenter, it’s still very important to know the techniques of wood rot treatment and ways to prevent the wood from rotting in the first place. Knowing these techniques not only helps homeowners keep their house’s structural integrity in check, but it’s a great way to save money and a lot of energy that would go into replacing rotted wood foundations in their homes. 

How to Stop Timber Rot

Not having any wood rot in your home is not yet a cause for celebration. Sure, your home is fine at the moment, but you may expect to find rotten boards, dry rot fungus, and other kinds of damage at some point in the future. So, before you get comfortable, you should find ways to prevent wood rot in the first place.

Here are just a few techniques that homeowners across the country use to prevent rotting and increase the longevity of their wood. While you don’t have to make use of each and every technique listed here, the more of them you try, the more likely you are to prevent wood rot and other kinds of damage. 

Sealing or Resealing Cracks

Caulking to Protect Your Exterior Wood Trim

Caulking to Protect Your Exterior Wood Trim

When it comes to rotted wood trim, one of the biggest causes of this problem is the cracks and holes in the timber. When water gets into the cracks, it softens the wood, makes it flaky, causes mold, warping, and if it freezes over in the winter, it may even break it. This is when caulk sealant comes into action.

By applying it into the little holes, cracks, and crevices in the wood, you can seal it off, preventing any water from seeping into it. Caulk is very easy to use even with little to no DIY skill, it is widely available for reasonable prices, and is very effective at protecting wood from moisture and other kinds of damage. Caulking your thresholds and exterior trim also doesn’t take much time, as the equipment involved (i.e. the caulk gun), is quite self-explanatory and relatively easy to use.

Storm Door

Protecting Your Front Door from Impact and Rain

Protecting Your Front Door from Impact and Rain

If you find dry rot on the door frame of your exterior thresholds, or perhaps even the door itself, consider installing a storm door. Many homes in the country have these, especially if they’re located in areas prone to all kinds of harsh weather conditions. A storm door acts as additional insulation, protecting your front door from impact damage, but more importantly moisture.

Any time it rains, you can rest easy knowing that the storm door will protect your home’s exterior threshold from the water. This way, you don’t have to worry about your front door being damaged any time it rains or snows. Simply keep the storm door closed and your front door should be protected from the weather conditions. The storm door also acts as additional insulation not only against moisture but also the cold.

You can install storm doors on your own, as the installation kit comes with all the instructions you need. However, it’s best to leave this one for the pros, as getting even one of the measurements a little off could risk a faulty installation, which in turn, would result in an underperforming storm door. 

Lowering the Humidity

How Humidity Weakens Your Wood

How Humidity Weakens Your Wood

Part of the reason why the wood on the interior begins to rot is because of the conditions of your interior. Living in certain areas of the country, you will often find your interior humid. As a result, the wood will get warped and rot even without coming into contact with liquid moisture. This is why proper ventilation is needed to protect the wood that is on the interior.

Control the humidity by installing proper ventilation in the areas most susceptible to moisture damage, such as basements, which tend to have a lot of exposed pieces of timber. You can do this via the ventilation system or with a dedicated dehumidifier that can lower the amount of moisture that is in the air. 

Repainting 

How Repainting Your Wood Trim Can Prevent Rotting

How Repainting Your Wood Trim Can Prevent Rotting

Exposure is one of the greatest enemies of wood. You will find that areas of wood where the paint has flaked off, leaving it exposed to the weather, are where rot is most likely to occur. This is because the paint is not simply used for aesthetics. It is also a very practical way to protect the wood from exposure to humid weather conditions, rainwater, and other elements that put your wood in danger.

Take the time to repaint the exterior of your home using long-lasting waterproof paint. This will significantly increase the longevity of your home’s exterior wood trim and protect it for years to come. Minimize exposure and your wood should serve you for a very long time. The one problem with repainting is that it is a pretty hefty project to do on your own, especially if you have to repaint the entire exterior of your home.

To repaint your home in its entirety, it’s best to contact a professional painter and book them for the project. Commercial painters come with all the tools, equipment, and experience they need to paint the exterior of your home. Keep in mind, that painting may seem like an easy task, but when it comes to the scale of having to paint an entire house, the project can get quite daunting. 

Gutter Maintenance

Even More Reasons to Clean Out Your Gutters

Even More Reasons to Clean Out Your Gutters

Gutters are your roof’s main form of irrigation. They provide water with a proper channel through which it can leave and cause as little damage to your home as possible. The last thing you want is all that rainwater being trapped on your roof, leaking into your home, and potentially damaging everything in the vicinity, especially the wooden frame of the roof itself. Cleaning out the gutter is one of the best ways to prevent this from happening.

Unfortunately, water is not the only thing that goes through gutters. Over the months you’ll find that they get filled up with a lot of things, from dried up leaves to branches, and even a loose baseball. All of these can clog up the irrigation system, preventing the water from safely flowing down to the ground. So, to prevent the possibility of water damage as a result of rainwater, clean out your gutters regularly so the water can find its way down to the ground.

Written by
Alex Mikayelyan

Written by Alex Mikayelyan