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Water Damage & Wood Rot Repair

Wood rot is very different in appearance than termite, carpenter ant, or powder post beetle damage. These wood-eating pests commonly leave sawdust-like trails or piles as they tunnel through and damage the wood.  Wood rot occurs from recurring moisture exposure and typically shows itself as white and yellow with a stringy or spongy appearance – or – brownish color that tends to break into cubes.  Left unrepaired, it will not only continue to break down the wood fibers, but it creates a welcome environment for wood-eating insects. 


During our more than 30 years of experience, we have found that these areas tend to be the most common locations of wood rot damage needing repair:

wet rotted wood
dry rotted wood
wood rot on window sill, trim, and nosing
wood rotted door jamb and door trim

Window & Doors:  Windows and doors create an opportunity to produce the right environment necessary to create rot – moisture and heat. 

The best way to prevent wood rot on window sills, window and door trim, door jambs, and door thresholds, is to make sure the openings are properly flashed, seams are sealed with an appropriate caulk, and all exposed wood is either sealed with primer and paint or a wood sealant.  

Decks & porches:  Improperly flashing along decks and porches is a frequent mistake that can lead to structural framing wood rot.  Rotted porch columns often develop if the columns aren’t kept primed and painted to protect them from weather.  Also, undersides of decks are an easy target for wood rot due to their proximity to ground moisture, shade beneath the deck, and exposure to the elements.

rott at the base of a porch column

Floors:  Rotted wood floors and subfloors are usually a sign of leaking plumbing pipes, a leaking appliance, or excessively damp basement/crawl space conditions.  Excessive ground moisture, insufficient landscape grading, overgrown shrubbery, poor ventilation, and proximity to dirt often combine to make basements and crawl spaces a prime area for wood rot to occur from the underside of the floor.

Roof & Attic Area:   Roof leaks are common causes of water damage and wood rot.  Oftentimes in the attic, the damaged area may be away from the source of the leak. Water often travels along the roof framing and/or sheathing to a point of collection.  Look carefully for any evidence of water running down rafters or a dripping roof.  If you see water damage on the attic side of the roof, exterior wood rot is also likely.  Another highly prone area of wood rot is at the area where the roof and dormers meet due to inadequate or improper flashing. Another source of water intrusion that can cause a wood rotted roof are satellites.

water damage on subfloor
mold covering roof rafters
rotted trim on a dormer
fence posts and panels with rot at the bottom

Fence posts:  Rotted fence posts are commonly found when the posts were improperly set at the time that the fence was erected.  It can also occur where ground water stands and would benefit from the installation of a French drain. Ground moisture creates the right environment for fence posts to rot and decay.

wood rotted soffit

Soffits & Fascia:  The vertical trim that is below the roof line is called the fascia and the horizontal wood connected to it is called the soffit.  Often gutters are attached to the fascia so they can channel water runoff from the roof to a controlled discharge area.  When leaves and limbs are allowed to build up in the gutters, they hold water rather than allow it to run off, creating the right environment for water damage which results in fascia rot and soffit rot.


rotted facia and shingle molding
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