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Residential Wood Rot Repair Carpentry Contractors in Lee's Summit

When visiting homes to provide homeowners estimates on their exterior painting projects in Kansas City and the surrounding metros, over 75% of the homes we inspect have some sort of issue with wood rot or damaged wood. When it comes to painting a house, it’s very important to make sure the substrate is structurally sound prior to applying paint since paint acts as an agent to protect whatever it is applied over from the exterior elements. Therefore, if the substrate (wood siding, wood trim, EIFS, Stucco, etc.) is not functioning the way it was meant to, the paint is not going to offer it the protection it otherwise could. While it’s important to repair and replace wood rot as it pops up, it’s extremely important to make sure it’s addressed before applying fresh paint to your home.

wood rot on a house in lee's summit, mo
Wood Rot Repair Services

Understanding Wood Rot's Cause and Repair Options

Major Painting, located in Lee’s Summit, can help you identify and repair wood rot, as well as minimize future wood rot occurrences. But first, it’s important to understand what wood rot is and the overall impact it can have on your home.

How to Find Wood Rot on Your Home

Often, you will be able to find most of the wood rot around a home from a ground level inspection. We call this ground level inspection, the eye test. What you’re looking for is any discoloration, softness, or abnormalities in the wood siding or trim. If your home or building shows a large number of areas of wood rot from a ground level inspection, there’s a good chance more are present, and you should further your investigation.

There are two ways to do this. The first should be completed if you do not intend on painting your house after the repairs are completed. In this case we recommend diligently looking over the home or building using a ladder and the touch test. The touch test is simply where you press on suspect areas that look like they may have characteristics of rot, seeing if they’re structurally sound.

The second method is recommended if you plan to paint after completing the repairs. This method is the pressure washing method, which should be completed prior to starting any exterior painting job. By pressure washing every square inch of the home, you’re not only cleaning the substrate and preparing it for paint, you’re applying pressure to it, making sure it’s structurally sound. At Major Painting, we diligently pressure wash homes as it not only ensures our paint is going to have great adhesion and ensures the integrity of the coating, but it allows us to find all areas of wood rot that may be hidden from the ground level eye test.

Types of Wood Rot:

When reviewing a home or commercial building for wood rot, there’s a chance you will come across multiple types and stages of wood rot. Below are the types of wood rot from most to least common:

  • Wet Rot (White Rot) – Wet Rot is the most aggressive type of rot and often turns the wood a whitish or yellow shade as well as becomes spongy to the touch.
  • Dry Rot (Brown Rot) – Dry rot occurs when a certain type of fungus gets into the wood and breaks its cellulose down. It often becomes dried out and crumbly, giving it the name “dry rot.”
  • Soft Rot – Decomposition from soft rot occurs at a slower pace than the other two and starts in the inner cavities of the wood.

What Causes Wood Rot

Now that you know what to look for, you’re probably asking yourself, what caused wood rot to occur? As you can imagine, there are multiple scenarios and combinations of elements that can cause the wood siding and trim on your home to rot and fail. After further research, what you will find is wood rot is more complicated than you may have initially thought. Wood rot is caused by the presence of fungi spores, and these spores are built into the environment to break down wood and other plant life so they can be recycled into the ecosystem.

At Major Painting, we find the most common reason for pre-mature wood rot is water exposure and, more specifically, water drainage issues. While warmth, oxygen, and water are all elements that need to be present for the fungi spores to live and thrive, poor water drainage is the common culprit for wood rot and decay on residential homes and commercial buildings. A few common examples of wood rot caused by bad drainage are as follows:

  • Fascia Boards - Fascia boards are commonly found behind gutters, as the gutter is fastened to them. The gutter corners often leak over time cause direct drainage onto the fascia board behind them, creating them to rot over time.
  • Windows - Windows that are not caulked and painted properly can be inviting to water damage. Water will often sit on the window sill and find its way through window trim getting into the wood window itself or the trim around it.
  • Siding and Trim Boards - Drainage from the roof can pass over the gutters due to the gutters not being the proper size or from a heavy rain fall, spilling water onto the side of your house repeatedly. This water can cause the paint and caulking to break down, eventually getting into the wood and breaking it down.

How to Prevent Wood Rot

The following are a few quick tips on how to prevent wood rot from occurring on your home:

Ensure Your Wood Siding and Other Substrates Are Sealed

When trying to prevent future wood rot, the single most important thing you can do is to ensure the substrate you’re trying to protect is sealed from the elements. The most common form of sealing wood siding and trim on an elevation of a home is by caulking and painting it. Caulking is used to seal the gaps where wood trim and siding meet, and paint is then applied over it to create a uniform barrier protecting the substrate from the elements. It’s very important to make sure the siding or trim is sealed up, but not sealed too tightly where water can get trapped behind the coating or substrate.

Therefore, it’s crucial to think about how the rainwater would drain off the side of your home. We recommend caulking the tops of trim boards but not the bottoms so that water can escape if it does somehow get behind the trim board. This also allows the home to expand and contract as needed with the atmosphere.

Ensure Your Drainage is Working Properly

Over 50% of the homes we provide exterior painting estimates for have wood rot due to malfunctioning downspouts and guttering. The most common repair we find when it comes to poor drainage is the fascia boards at the gutter corner miter. What commonly happens is the gutter corner, where the gutters are connected to each other, start to fail and leak. The leaking of water over time, directly onto the fascia boards behind them inevitably creates wood rot. Therefore, it’s very important to inspect your home’s gutters and downspouts to make sure they’re working properly as well as any other drainage systems that may be unique to your home.

Don’t Let Objects Touch Your Home

Another common scenario we see that causes the pre-mature rot of your home’s wood siding and trim boards is allowing shrubbery, landscaping or anything else that holds moisture to touch or sit very closely to your home. When these items get wet, unfortunately they hold the moisture there, making your wood more susceptible to wood rot.

Understanding Wood Rot

Our Wood Rot Repair Services in Lee’s Summit

Repairing your wood rot is a critical component to preserving the life and structural soundness of your home. Additionally, for proper paint adhesion, it’s critical that wood rot is properly addressed prior to repainting any wood surface.

From repairing siding to replacing fascia boards, our professional painters and carpenters at Major Painting can assist with all your wood rot repairs. When possible, we will also provide recommendations on what may have caused the wood rot and what you can do to reduce the changes of wood rot reoccurrence.

How We Can Help

Get a Free Quote on Wood Rot Repair

If you suspect there may be wood rot repair on your home, remember that waiting can compound the effect. To get a free quote on wood rot repair in Kansas City, contact our painting and carpentry experts today!

Content Reviewed by Chase DeRousse