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  • Writer's picturemyaun1

Protect Your Home From Rot Damage

Rot damage can be an unwanted and expensive surprise. Proper maintenance and quality repairs will keep you from facing costly rot damage. Use our free guide to help locate small problems before they become a big ones.

Small amounts of water can cause huge problems with rot and bugs, especially on stucco and masonry. We have seen many houses where the siding did not look bad, but behind it the framing was rotten. If you have evidence that water is pouring off your roof or gutters and down a wall get it looked at asap. Siding, stucco, brick or masonry are not designed to handle the water coming off of your roof or gutter.

If you locate rotten wood, peeling paint, mold or algae look for the source. Most of the time there will be a gutter or roofing issue that has caused the damage. Get to the root cause of the damage or you will be making the same repair again.

If you find rot replace the full piece of trim if possible, especially around windows & doors. Replacing the full piece of wood or trim is considered the, "best practice repair method." It costs a little more, but it will protect your home and bring it back to the original design. Epoxy should be avoided at all cost, it is only a band aid. Sometimes a scarf joint will be used. Pay attention to scarf joint repairs, the joint can crack over time and they look horrible. If rot gets into the window frame or sash the window may need to be completely replaced. So, check your home before it gets this bad.

Replacement materials have come a long way. The industry now uses Fiber Cement, PVC, Composite, and Treated Wood Trim to replace rotten wood. Be careful using PVC; too much sun or dark paint will cause it to twist and expand. Treated trim is not something you can get at a big box store yet, but it is a great option. It is wood trim treated with a chemical that resists rot. It matches existing materials and does not twist and expand like PVC.

Try to use like materials in the area you are replacing. If you have a wood trim, use wood replacement trim, unless you can replace the full run. If you have fiber cement trim use fiber cement replacement trim. The idea is to use materials that will expand, contract and wear at the same rate. This will reduce wear on your fasteners, caulk and paint.

Avoid using epoxy unless absolutely necessary, which is usually a financial decision. Epoxy does not expand and contract at the same rate as wood, which leads to cracks where water can get into. If all of the rot is not removed it can and most of the time will continue to rot. Rot is caused my microorganisms eating the wood. It does not go away with epoxy and can cause extremely expensive repairs down the road.

There is a reason some repair quotes are cheaper than others. Find out how your repairs will be made. What kind of materials will be used? Make sure they sand and prime repair areas. Inspect your home yourself. Locate the rot or problem areas for yourself, sure you may not catch everything, but you can use that information to vet your painter of carpenter. Some painters will just caulk or worse, epoxy over rot cracks or just paint over them. In about a year or so the area will need work and the rot can spread into your framing. Quality long term repairs will return the home to its original look and protect it from future problems.

Save yourself money and time by properly maintaining your home. Before you plan on doing any interior remodeling, check the outside of your home. Once you are confident the exterior of your home is in good shape tackle the inside of your home. Remember you can not turn off the rain and sun. Our checklist will go a long way to help prevent rot damage on your home.

Mike Yaun

Primars Windows, Siding & Doors


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