When you are king of your castle it is easy to think you are at the top of the food chain in your house. However, if you are not careful there may be a predator lurking in your house that you never knew existed.
This predator is hungry and always has an appetite if the conditions are right. Maybe you guessed, it is wood rot.
This is your ultimate guide to what wood rot. You need to know what it is and how to treat it and other types of damage.
Wood Rot – Who’s Hungry?
The short answer is a micro-organism called Fungi. The basic causes of wood rot are similar to mold. That is because mold is a type of Fungi.
The differences between Fungi and Mold is not that important. It is the similarities that are useful to understand. That is because this type of organism needs moisture, oxygen, and warmth to exist.
Of course, it also needs ‘food’ which is where your house and its wooden structures come in. These types of organisms are a form of plant life and include the process of metabolism. The conditions mentioned above are a pre-requisite for metabolism.
That means that if you can eliminate any of those conditions you will put a stop to fungi growth. On the other hand, if these conditions remain, your wood rot will get worse and the fungi will eat away most of your wood until it loses its structural integrity and collapses.
This could be disastrous in your home and expensive to put right.
In medical terms, prevention is always better than a cure. This healthcare principle holds when looking after the ‘health’ of your home.
Simple measures will make a big difference in promoting the health of your house. For example, good ventilation and airflow will help reduce moisture from building up.
Most people will make a connection between wood rot and moisture. It is important then to make sure you do not have any water leaks, even if they are only small. Unlike human life, Fungi does not light; that means you need to check all the dark and hidden corners of your home.
If you find moisture, you must dry it out and also locate its source. If you neglect this, it is only a matter of time before rot sets in.
Even with physical health, there are surprises while living what we consider to be a healthy lifestyle. The same is true with your own home. With the best will in the world, you may still end up with wood rot.
Fungi will start from spores that are ever-present in the air. They are just waiting for the right conditions in which to grow. Manage the environment correctly as mentioned above and this will help.
Additionally, you can protect the surface of the wood. It is interesting to note that wood is naturally porous and it ‘breathes.’ This means that moisture and air can enter the wood through its cell structure.
If there is a risk of rot you can change the structural surface of wood by painting it. This helps to ‘seal’ the wood and make it less inviting for moisture and air to enter within the wood itself.
Replace Damaged Wood
If wood rot has gotten into the structure of your wood and is decaying, then likely it is beyond saving. You will need to cut the rot out and replace the wood.
There is no shortcut. You need only to replace damaged wood. Once the wood has been replaced you will need to follow the preventative measure indicated above.
There are different types of rot such as brown, white and soft rot. These different types will attack the structure of the wood in a slightly different way and thrive in different temperatures. Your home may be vulnerable simply because of the type of weather in the area in which you live.
Know Your Risk Zones
While reading this you may be thinking it is impossible to avoid wood rot. It may seem that wood rot is extremely pervasive but the key to success is knowledge and maintenance.
In this article, you are getting the knowledge you need but ultimately you need to act on that knowledge or seek expert help to do so.
Knowing your risk zones and regularly checking them will improve your success rate at keeping wood rot and other kinds of damage at bay. Here is where you should be looking…
1. Window Frames
Modern windows are better designed so as not to allow water or moisture to pool but older windows are not designed with that in mind. Check for cracks in the paint regularly, especially in older windows which are at greater risk.
2. Door Frames
The door itself may seem to be fine but you need to keep an eye on the door frame itself. Once again, the key is to maintain the integrity of the outer protection of the paint. Small cracks may not look all that bad but they can be an ‘open door’ to rot setting in.
3. Basements and Crawl Spaces
Any room below the surface of the ground is potentially vulnerable. This is because the walls are often in direct contact with moisture-rich soil. Depending on how much rainfall your area experiences, this can be a major problem.
Worse still, is that the growth and development of wood rot in these areas can go on undetected for years.
Last but Not Least – Take Action
Wood rot and other forms of damage in your home, become a major problem primarily because we do not take action when we should.
Avoidance is one of the wood rot’s best friends. Don’t ignore it. Take action yourself or get the help you need.
If you have any questions, please get in touch here.