What to Do About Wood Rot Before Your Painting Project

What to Do About Wood Rot Before Your Painting Project

If you suspect any wood rot on your home or HOA property, addressing it immediately is critical to prevent it from spreading and causing further damage.

Removing wood rot is also far better for your property value and its aesthetic appeal. Learning about wood rot repair and replacement can help you feel more prepared when you notice the signs. Here’s what to look for.

How to Handle Rotting Wood

How to Identify Dry Rot

There are several tell-tale signs you have dry wood rot on your property.

  • Timber shrinks along the grain, causing cracking.

  • Rot can hide and spread under surface veneer.

  • Timber may feel soft or spongy to the touch.

  • The mycelium fungus that causes it can have a lemon-yellowish tinge, which discolors your wood and finishes before greying.

  • You notice a damp, musty smell on your property woodwork.

  • Fruiting, mushroom-like bodies grow on the wood when wood rot has become extensive and pervasive, leaving red dust in the room or area where they’re found.

Dry rot (mycelium fungus) grows and colonizes the wood it decays. Once dry wood rot has begun, it will grow along and through walls to find more timber to colonize. Paying attention to how wood feels and smells is crucial, because dry rot can hide under veneer and finishes for a while before it becomes visible. However, paint damage can be a giveaway that you have wood rot, and that your property is vulnerable to it. If you notice any of the following problems near, underneath, or around damaged paint, it’s time to schedule wood rot replacement services.

How to Identify Wet Rot

You might hear people say that wet rot isn’t as serious as dry rot when it comes to carpentry repairs required before interior or exterior painting services. While it’s true that wet wood rot stays contained in the area of initial decay, leaving it unaddressed will still leave your property vulnerable to pest intrusion, health hazards like mold and mildew, and an overall decline in structural soundness and integrity.

Wet rot has many of the same identifying traits as dry rot:

  • Shrinking and cracking wood

  • Soft, spongy feel

  • Musty, damp smell

  • Likelihood of paint damage and deterioration

But discoloration is more likely with wet rot, making it more difficult for it to linger unnoticed and unchecked. If there are growths in the decaying area, they’ll be strand-like rather than mushroom-like in appearance.

Address Causes of Wood Rot

Addressing the cause of wood rot at its source is key to it not happening again in the future. Any structural dampness can cause wet rot to start. Moisture intrusion can happen anywhere paints, stains, and finishes have been improperly applied, but it’s especially common around roofing and gutter damage.

Dry rot also occurs when dampness gets into the timber, but it requires a lower moisture concentration than dry rot. Any improper painting, sealing, or caulking, as well as structural damage due to storms or deterioration, puts you at increased risk for wood rot.

Proper paint application and surface preparation is a surefire way to greatly reduce the probability of future wood rot attacks.

Repair and Replace Rotted Wood

Once wood rot is identified, it should be completely removed, and those timbers, beams, or features need to be replaced. The plan for wood rot remediation will differ based on the area where it’s found, the extent of the damage, and the type of wood and finishes required to restore your property. Because of these many factors, and the safety risks of working with structurally compromised wood, it’s not recommended to replace wood rot as a DIY project.

Work with an Experienced Team

With our partners at DMA Construction, Trico Painting is committed to early, proactive identification and remediation of wood rot as part of our exterior painting, HOA painting, and interior painting services.

We never compromise on carpentry repairs or surface preparation, so you can be confident you’re getting the best possible results. If you suspect wood rot anywhere in your home or HOA, contact Trico Painting right away to address it and get your property back in ship shape.