We stop wood rot from damaging your roof & devaluing your home
Wood rot often comes as an unpleasant surprise. Perhaps you’re having your roof shingles replaced and the roofer announces that the decking, rafters, and/or ridge board is rotted.
Or maybe you’re preparing to paint an exterior window sill or trim board and you notice the wood under the old paint is soft. Worse is when you’re in the basement or crawlspace and notice rot in structural beams and joists!
Left untreated, with the right conditions, wood rot can spread and eventually weaken the structure of your home. Of course, a home with significant rot will also lose its resale value, so it’s imperative to take action.
What causes rot anyway?
The fungal spores that cause wood to rot are all around us. Fortunately, they are not always active, and rot damage does not occur overnight. Dry rot is a common type of wood rot in which wood is attacked by fungi. The fungi destroy the parts of the wood that make it strong and firm.
To grow and begin to digest wood, fungal spores need adequate amounts of water and high relative humidity. When the moisture content of the materials with which your home is built is coupled with high relative humidity, the stage is set for rot.
Where to Inspect for Dry Rot & Wood Rot
Armed with an awl or a small screwdriver, inspect locations where rot often gains a foothold. Use the tool to poke into areas that are suspects (blistered or soft) to see how extensive the rot is. Rot is likely to occur in:
- Exposed framing in a basement or crawlspace
- Exterior window sills and door thresholds
- Exterior window and door casings (trim)
- The underside of roof decking (if accessible from the attic)
- Roof framing (if accessible from the attic)
- Fascia (trim to which gutters are often attached) and rake boards (trim on the gable end of a roof)
A solid roof can help prevent dry rot damage
Stop the rot. Without excess moisture, rot cannot gain a foothold in your home. Properly maintained gutters and reduced moisture infiltration at the windows are good preventative measures.
Most of the strategies for fighting dry rot throughout the house begin with your roof. If your roof is not sound and your gutters are clogged or misaligned, tremendous amounts of water can enter your home and saturate the ground around your foundation (which can also allow water to seep into your home). So, the first rule of home care is to make sure your roof is leak-free and in good repair. As a leading roofing contractor in Greater Minneapolis, we offer comprehensive roofing services, including a variety of roof repairs to help you maintain your roof’s condition.
Elite Exteriors also understands that the roof is more than a barrier to rain and snow. It is also where your home exhales! A properly vented roof also expels much of the water vapor that builds up in the home and plays an important role in keeping the moisture content in building materials to safe levels.
Vent openings are typically located along the roof’s ridge and soffits at the eaves. These roof vents are usually continuous in order to maintain adequate air flow.
Warm, often humid, air naturally rises up (warm air rises) through the ridge vents and replacement air is drawn in through soffit vents to replace it.
Called convection, or the “stack effect,” replacement air may also be drawn from wall cavities that surround the lower levels of your home – and even from your basement. The stack effect normally helps maintain low moisture levels throughout your home.