What Causes Wood Rot? How Can I Fix It?

dry-rot-windowWood rot is almost always caused by moisture, which finds its way into the grain of the wood and begins to cause deterioration. There are a number of reasons water could be entering wood and causing exterior wood rot:

  • Leaking or clogged gutters
  • Failing paint
  • Old or improper caulk around joints
  • Leaking roof or chimney flashing
  • Pest damage

Basically, any time wood is exposed to the elements with no sealer or coating, it is susceptible.

Can I Fix Wood Rot With Filler Putty?

If the damage is quite minor, it is possible to fill the place with putty and smooth it over. This is definitely easier than replacing a board. However, you must be sure of two things: first, thoroughly scrape out all the loose, rotten wood fibers. Next, after you have filled and sanded the area, make sure you repair the source of water entry, or you will continue to have problems.

Replacing Boards Because of Wood Rot

If you have any kind of significant dry rot happening on your exterior woodwork, you are definitely best-off replacing the board. It is possible to cut out the damaged section and splice in a new partial board. This, however, leaves seams between the old and new sections. These seams are not as attractive as a single board, and they also create more potential for future water entry.

Before you install your new wood, make sure that you prime it on all sides, including the cut ends. This will go a long ways towards preventing future water damage, and it is often overlooked. Once the wood is in place, caulk the joints and you are ready to paint!

As we said earlier, whenever you have wood rot problems you need to identify the cause of water entry. If you don’t, you will only end up replacing the same rotten wood you just replaced. Caulk, paint or repair the source of the problem, so you’re only doing this job once.

Painting Contractor with Carpenter On-Staff

Wood rot and related repairs are some of the main reasons we at Brennan’s Custom Painting keep a qualified carpenter on our crew. During our residential painting projects we often find areas where the wood siding, fascia, trim or sills have dry rot, and we know it is important to repair these correctly. With an experienced carpenter ready at-hand, we can replace any rotten wood and remedy the cause of it quickly, without the need to slow down the work and bring in other craftsmen.

Brennan’s Custom Painting services Philadelphia, New Jersey and northern Delaware. Call us for a free estimate for house painting and/or wood repair. You can trust us to treat your house to excellent care!

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