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Prevent Damage from Wood Rot

How to Prevent Damage from Wood Rot

Posted on July 31, 2021

Wood Rot

Wood rot can lead to severe structural damage in your home. Not only can it ruin your beautiful floors, doors, or walls, but it can lead to the structure or your home rotting and cracking. What starts as a cosmetic imperfection can lead to a damaged foundation. 

A rotting wooden floor can begin to warp and dry incorrectly. This to uneven pressure on the walls. Once the walls have uneven pressure, tension builds against the walls. If the walls crack, then cracking can continue down into the foundation. 

Wood Rot Can Affect:

  • Chimneys surrounded by wooden mantles can lose support and begin to cave over time. Cracks in the chimney are costly and extremely dangerous. 
  • If you have wooden doors, a rotting door can be warped and lead to cracks in the walls.
  • Wooden floors may lead to cracked walls and foundations. 

These costly repairs are avoidable if you frequently check your home’s foundation and repair wood rot quickly. If wood rot is severe, replacing beams and floors immediately will prevent further damage to your home.  Preventing wood rot saves you time, money, and resources.

Prevention Tips

  • Crawl space encapsulation is a sure-fire way to prevent most wood decay. When humidity builds in your crawl space, not only do you have radon toxicity, but any wooden beams can begin to rot. With crawl space encapsulation, you are shutting moisture that seeps through the ground and drafts. Products like SafetyCap through Atlantic Foundation help maintain a low humidity under your home.
  • If you love wooden siding, make sure that you stain and treat your wood before assembly. Also, clean your gutters so that there is no build-up of moisture near the foundation of your home. 
  • Check for leaks. Your pipes run under the house in your crawl space. Leaks that go unnoticed behind walls and in crawl spaces lead to severe wood rot in a matter months. If you live in a newer home, check your pipes regularly. Having plumbers check for leaks every so often helps prevent long-term damage. 
  • De-humidifiers prevent a build-up of humidity and dry up moisture in the wood. 
  • If you spill a large amount of water use towels immediately to absorb the water and then use a fan to dry the floor. You may want to check your crawl space if it was a great amount of water and even add a de-humidifier if it is soaked into the wood.

If you have wood rot, you need to figure out the severity of the damage. Rotted wood needs to be removed and replaced immediately.

Minor Repair Tips

To repair minor rots in wood, follow these simple instructions to fill in wood. 

  • If the wood rot is in a floor beam, consider the size and stability of the wooded beam. You will probably want to call in the professionals to replace it. 
  • When you have removed the rotten wood (say on a wood floor or doorway), apply wood hardener all over the weak areas. Using polyester wood filler, you can then press it into the cracks and gaps. You can do the same with epoxy injecting it into the holes. 

If you are uncertain how severe the damage is to the actual structure, call a foundation specialist to inspect it. Companies like Atlantic Foundation will not charge homeowners for a consultation. If you are in Raleigh or Eastern North Carolina, call us up today to see if we can help you. 

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