The majority of us have seen rotting wood, whether it be a tree that has fallen over because of a storm or a small twig slowly decomposing into the soil.
The decomposition of wood is a natural and everyday occurrence that contributes to a healthy ecosystem.
Although, this discussion quickly makes a 180 when the rotting wood is in our homes!
Rotting wood in a home can lead to significant structural problems, from deteriorating support posts and beams to a destroyed roof decking.
Homeowners are often caught between a rock and a hard place when they are forced to confront a tough question with rotted wood: Should the rotting wood be replaced or repaired?
To backtrack a bit first, it should be noted that there is a difference between rotted wood and rotting wood.
If the wood is fully rotted, it is most likely too late, and the wood must be replaced.
However, if the wood is rotting, but not yet fully rotted, chances are, it is salvageable.
Continue reading to learn about the causes and signs of rotted wood and when it can be saved.
What causes rotted wood?
Rotted wood is normally caused by a combination of conditions, with the two main characters being moisture and fungi.
For the fungi to survive grow, the wood must remain continuously damp. Generally, fungi will not grow on dry wood.
While wood rot can take place virtually anywhere there is wood, wood rot most commonly takes place at the bottom of porch posts, as it is often exposed to water.
Window sills are also particularly susceptible to wood rot, although they have limited structural importance.
What are signs of rotted wood?
As previously mentioned, if the wood is caught while it is in the process of rotting, rather than completely rotted, it can still be salvaged and repaired, but if the wood has already completely rotted, it must be replaced.
Begin your home’s inspection by examining any areas of your home their may be wood, such as siding around and beneath your home’s windows, walls and floors near sinks and bathtubs, attics, and basements.
From there, take note if there are any signs of rotted wood. Here are a few signs to look out for:
- Signals of fungus. Keep an eye for spotty white patches that resemble chewed up mushrooms or a white film on wood.
- Waterlogging. Waterlogging occurs when the wood expands to the point where water can no longer be stored anymore. The wood is completely saturated.
- Odour. As wood begins to rot, it will take on the scent of general mustiness or something comparable to faint body odour.
How can rotted wood be saved?
If the wood has not fully rotted, there is a chance that the wood can be saved. Like humans, rotted wood requires oxygen to survive. Without oxygen, the rotted wood cannot create bacteria that will further break down the wood.
These are a few ways rotted wood can be saved:
- Polyester filler. Polyester filler suffocates the source of the wood rot. This repairs the stability of the wood, making it usable again.
- Chip and save. Arguably not the ideal means of saving rotted wood, but still effective, as the name insinuates, a mallet and wood chisel are used to chip away the rotted areas.
- Epoxy sealant. First, visible rotten pieces of wood are removed. Then, an epoxy resin is poured over the previously rotted area. As the epoxy sets, it hardens and becomes part of the wood.
If your Seattle home is suffering from rotted wood, reach out to Home Care Contractors for an inspection and solution.