When you start a renovation project there is a lot of excitement about the new space that awaits. However, once the work has commenced and the walls are opened up, many homeowners are met with the rude awakening that the wood under the surface has begun to rot. In older homes wood rot is commonly found when Contractors go in to replace a window or door, and this must be repaired before the new window or door can be installed. Needless to say, finding rot can be a major problem for a renovation project – something that can add additional weeks and unexpected costs to the project.
Below we have detailed some key warning signs and risks associated with wood rot in the home, as well as a few guidelines every Calgary homeowner should know about rot remediation and prevention.
Risks and Warning Signs of Wood Rot: Interior and Exterior
Wood rot is an unfortunate surprise often found in homes over the process of a home renovation or improvement project, and it can affect any area of the home such as the floors, exterior and interior walls, windows, doors, and the roof above your head. Moreover if you have an older home, you likely have wood trim around your windows and exterior doors as opposed to vinyl window and door casements that are most common now. These areas are particularly susceptible to wood rot over time and should be checked routinely to ensure an effective seal and protection against the elements. Over time, environmental factors like rain, hail, snow, and prolonged sun exposure can all have a negative effect on wood with peeling paint and a break down in the caulking seal. Further, undetected missing shingles and torn waterproofing on the roof after a severe hail storm will most certainly leave you susceptible. When this happens water is able to seep into the unprotected wood leading to the growth of fungus and rot if left untreated.
The major warning signs of wood rot are darkened discolouration in wood and wood that is soft or brittle to light pressure. When moisture is left to linger in an area over time, the wood will begin to break down leaving crevices and holes in the wood, and severely compromising its structural integrity. All types of untreated wood, even plywood routinely used in subfloor, are very susceptible to absorbing water over time. You could begin to experience soft spots on the floor as you walk – a matter that requires quick remediation and repair as soon as possible.
Wood Rot: Prevention and Maintenance
Both the interior and exterior of your home are susceptible to wood rot and moisture damage. Areas around exterior windows and doors are particularly susceptible, however also take note of other vulnerable areas including areas where your deck is attached to the home (the ledger board), check where your eaves are draining and ensure they are draining away from the home, and of course look for any obvious exposed areas on the exterior of your home at the roof, window trims and the siding. In the interior of your home be sure to monitor the floor and walls around bathtubs, showers and sinks in the bathrooms, in the kitchen, the laundry room and the furnace room where your hot water heater is located. Routine checks for leaks and any signs of water damage underneath the vanity sinks and faucets is a good idea and check for smells that can be associated to this also.
Regular maintenance on your home will avoid potential costly damage caused by moisture and rot. Ensure your home rain gutters are clear of debris, functioning properly, and effectively directing water away from the home, on a downward slope and away from the foundation. Use proper ventilation (ie bathroom fans) in the bathrooms that experience higher moisture build-up and humidity. As a guideline, the bathroom fan should be on during a shower and should run for approximately 15 minutes after the shower to remove the moisture. Lastly, inspect caulking, paint, and other sealants used around doors and windows to make sure it is still intact and offering effective protection.
The most important factor in preventing potential damage caused by moisture build up is to perform routine inspections of the vulnerable areas of your home, and ensure quick remediation and/or replacement of sealant and other protection measures as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Do you need rot remediation work in the structure of your home? If you are looking for a professional, trusted Contractor in Calgary who is also specialized in rot remediation, Contact TriLink Builders today for your free consultation!